For the first time ever, the global public will be able to watch kākāpō nesting activity live, thanks to a special partnership between Telecom NZ and Kākāpō Recovery.
A camera has been set up at a nest on remote Whenua Hou/Codfish Island – off the northwest of Stewart Island in Foveaux Strait – and is streaming real time footage of foster mother Esperence caring for a chick.
Telecom has supplied most of the technology required to broadcast the activity as it happens.
Kākāpō Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said very few people in the world had ever had the chance to witness kākāpō nesting, given kākāpō didn’t breed every year and it occurred in such a remote place, with limited access to technology.
“This year, we’ve had the first breeding since 2011. To be able to share this rare event with our supporters throughout the world is extremely exciting and we are so grateful to Telecom for helping us make it happen.”
Telecom General Manager Corporate Relations Andrew Pirie said it was a valuable opportunity to support Kākāpō Recovery in a way that would increase awareness and enhance education about a critically endangered New Zealand species.
“Because so much of the recovery programme takes place in the wild, on remote and protected islands, kākāpō nesting has to-date been limited to a very small audience. We’re delighted to have the connectivity in this remote location, and to contribute the technology needed to enable this precious event to be shared live with the world,” he said.
Kākāpō Recovery is a partnership between the New Zealand Department of Conservation, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd (NZAS) and Forest & Bird.
NZAS general manager Gretta Stephens said she was thrilled people all over the world could share in the success of the programme. “Our staff at NZAS have loved working in partnership with the Recovery team during the past 24 years, helping out on the island with maintenance, supplementary feedout and nest minding. It’s great that the team can now share part of that special kākāpō experience with the rest of New Zealand.”
The nestcam footage will stream via the Kākāpō Recovery website 24 hours a day, however the activity will occur during the New Zealand night time, because kākāpō are nocturnal.