Sirocco, New Zealand’s official spokesbird for conservation, will be at Parliament today to join in celebrating the achievements of the Kākāpō Recovery Programme over the last two decades.
The world’s most famous parrot, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) are beginning celebrations to mark the Kākāpō Recovery Programme’s twenty fifth birthday next year.
“For a quarter of a century the programme has worked tirelessly to bring this iconic species back from the brink of extinction, “said Director-General of Conservation, Lou Sanson.
“The recovery programme is the perfect conservation model demonstrating what can be achieved when commercial partners, non government organisations and the community come together,” said Sanson.
While NZAS has contributed nearly four and half million dollars to fund the programme, it isn’t just about the money. As well as providing guidance on strategic planning NZAS employees have volunteered more than 1,000 days to improve infrastructure on the kakapo inhabited islands, assist with kakapo supplementary feeding and even mind nests.
“We are immensely proud that when we came on board in 1990 there were only 49 kākāpō remaining and now, in 2014 there are 126 in the total population,” said Gretta Stephens, CE of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.
“Earlier this year I had the great privilege of releasing three chicks from this year’s bumper breeding season into the wild; watching them take their first steps into the wild was an unforgettable and humbling experience.”
New Zealand’s Kākāpō Recovery Programme has become a world leading conservation programme, pioneering conservation techniques that have developed and carried over into other programmes.