Giant model kākāpō steals the show at international event
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA three-metre long steel and mesh endangered bird - New Zealand’s flightless kākāpō - has become a star attraction at an international meeting on biodiversity in Japan.
Date: 21 October 2010
A three-metre long steel and mesh endangered bird - New Zealand’s flightless kākāpō - has become a star attraction at an international meeting on biodiversity in Japan.
The 10th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) began in Nagoya this week and the giant kākāpō has become a favourite of many delegates and observers. Today (Thursday), the bird will take centre stage at a special ceremony in which the CBD’s Executive Secretary Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf will accept a selection of the more the 20,000 messages New Zealanders have composed.
Kiri te Kākāpō with her lush plumage of cardboard feathers gets ready to board the Air New Zealand flight to Japan
The head of the New Zealand Government delegation at the CBD meeting, Mr Andrew Bignell, said that even while the team was unpacking the bird people were stopping to talk and take photographs.
“Having the kākāpō here in such a prominent position has been a wonderful start for the New Zealand delegation," said Andrew Bignell, DOC External Relations Manager.
The kākāpō was flown to Nagoya to be part of a fair showing the best examples from around the world of International Year of Biodiversity education and awareness activities. Its plumage of cardboard feathers is covered in messages written by New Zealand students about the importance of reversing the decline and loss of species and habitats across the globe.
The kākāpō, one of this country’s most endangered species, has been a flag bearer for New Zealand’s International Year of Biodiversity celebrations during 2010.
The large kākāpō in Japan is one of two created by the New Zealand Department of Conservation as part of its national biodiversity campaign called Words on a Wing. The birds visited schools, museums and zoos collecting messages from young people about why biodiversity matters, what they want world leaders to do about its loss, and what they are doing themselves.
“The birds have become celebrities in their own right, and have been in high demand for school visits,” said Annie Wheeler, International Year of Biodiversity co-ordinator for the Department of Conservation.
“The bird that’s now in Japan was named Kiri te Kākāpō by young Auckland students, who also composed a song for her and posted it on YouTube. The birds have captured the hearts and minds of thousands of people and focused attention on the value of our native biodiversity.
“Nearly 3000 animal, plant and fungi species in New Zealand are threatened with extinction, and we can all do something to help protect our unique heritage and make New Zealand the greatest living space on earth.”
Air New Zealand flew the kākāpō to Japan as part of its commitment to supporting projects that enhance New Zealand's green reputation around the world.