You’ve probably never heard of kakapos, and it’s no wonder. These large, flightless parrots live in only one place – two islands off the coast of New Zealand. Kakapos are so rare, that they were almost extinct. Several problems have lead to their decline. The kakapos have a strong smell, which makes it easy for predators to find them. The males don’t help take care of the babies. When the mothers leave to find food, the babies are easy prey. Opossums eat the same food as kakapos. When opossums eat all the food, the kakapos have nothing to eat.
Fortunately, the New Zealand Department of Conservation stepped in to help the kakapos. Scientists gathered all the birds and took them to two islands where there are no predators – no foxes, no cats, no wild dogs, no rats. Here, scientists are taking care of the birds and helping their numbers grow.
Fun Facts about Kakapos for Kids
- Kakapo males make a loud, booming sound to attract a mate. The sound can be heard over 7 miles away.
- Kakapos can live to be 60 years old.
- These interesting parrots are moss green.
- There are only 131 kakapos left in the world. Scientists have given each one a name, such as Richard Henry and Nora.
- Kakapos can’t fly, but they can climb trees. They eat fruit, seeds, plants and bulbs.
- Kakapos are nocturnal. They walk alone on the forest floor at night looking for food. They spend their days sleeping in trees.
- Flightless: unable to fly
- Extinct: gone from the earth
- Decline: fail, deteriorate
- Predator: an animal that hunts other animals
- Nocturnal: awake at night
Learn More All ABout Kakapos
Watch this interesting video documentary about the kakapos:
A documentary video about these flightless parrots.
Question: How big are kakapos?
Answer: Kakapos weigh about 9 pounds, which is as large as a cat or small dog.
Question: How does a kakapo escape from predators?
Answer: Unfortunately, kakapos freeze, rather than fly away or fight, when a predator comes near. This is one of the reasons they are endangered.