Source: The post is based on the article “How gene mapping almost all remaining kākāpō will help NZ’s rare night parrot survive” published in Down To Earth on 3rd September 2023
What is the News?
The genetic mapping of almost the entire kākāpō population has shed new light on specific traits that will help conservation biologists in their efforts to save the kākāpōs.
What is Kākāpō?
The Kākāpō is a species of parrot found only in New Zealand.
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Characteristics: They are the world’s only flightless parrot, the world’s heaviest parrot and also are nocturnal and herbivorous.
– It is also possibly one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a reported lifespan of up to 100 years.
– They only breed every few years, triggered by the availability of certain forest foods such as the fruits of the native rimu tree.
– It is also the only parrot to have a polygynous lek breeding system (It is a mating system in which the male provides no parental care to its offspring).
Significance: Kākāpō was historically important to Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Population: Their population dropped as low as 51 during the 1990s.But thanks to the sustained efforts, the kākāpō population is now up to 247 birds
Threats: kākāpō suffer from diseases such as the fungal infection aspergillosis and many of their eggs are infertile.