About Kākāpō

Our first Hideaway we built together, Party Parrot World, is inspired by the Kākāpō.
Today, there are only
252 Kākāpō alive

Andrew Digby | Source: Department of Conservation (NZ)

What are Kākāpō?
The Kākāpō is a critically endangered parrot from New Zealand. They are the heaviest, largest, and only flightless parrots in the world. Kākāpō are nocturnal parrots that jump between branches and climb up trees. They forage for a plant diet of leaves, buds, roots, flowers, fruit, and seeds.

The Kākāpō used to live throughout regions of New Zealand. But now they only live on protected offshore islands, Whenua Hou (Codfish Island), Anchor Island, and Little Barrier Island. Predators like cats, stoats, and rats have been removed.

Kākāpō only breed every 2 to 4 years when a mast of Rimu fruit is produced. A mast is when the trees produce a large amount of fruit. This means that the population can expand and feed many young Kākāpō!

Rimu fruit is a superfood full of calcium and fats which help the chicks grow nice and healthy. We all love a chonky Kākāpō!

Scientists can predict if it is a breeding season two years in advance. If the current summer is colder than in previous years, then there will be a mast and breeding season in two summers’ time.

Andrew Digby | Source: Department of Conservation (NZ)

Kākāpō reproduce over the summer from December to April (remember that the seasons in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres are the opposite!). Scientists collect samples from the trees in spring and autumn. If at least 8% of the tree branches are developing fruit, they know there will be enough fruit for a summer breeding season.

Why are they close to extinction?

The only native mammals to New Zealand are bats, so the Kākāpō grew up with few natural predators!

However, once humans came to New Zealand, they brought rats and dogs. Other invasive species including stoats and cats were also introduced, none of which the Kākāpō had ever seen before. This meant that the Kākāpō did not know how to survive against an unfamiliar predator and couldn’t fight back.

The introduction of humans, and thus predators, meant that this parrot had trouble surviving. The predators could outsmart the Kākāpō. And due to human expansion, their habitat shrunk. The poor Kākāpō! This is why it is so important for us to help the Kākāpō recover and thrive once more!

How can we help them?

Laura Patience| Source: Department of Conservation (NZ)

The Kākāpō population has grown from only 18 in the 1970s to 252 in 2022. Scientists have been working hard to increase their numbers!

You can help the Kākāpō and other critically endangered animals by raising awareness and talking about them with your friends and family. By making sure that these animals are valued and talked about, more people will know how important they are to our world.

Look after your local wildlife! Even if you live far away from the Kākāpō, there are many amazing creatures and plants living near you. These animals and plants will also need your help! You can help them by reducing pests and encouraging native plants and animals to grow.

Volunteer with your local wildlife and conservation programs! Weeding out plants, removing trash, and reducing pests will help your local native animals thrive.

You can support Kākāpō Recovery by donating! Kākāpō Recovery has partnered with the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Ngāi Tahu tribe, and scientists around the globe to protect and guard the Kākāpō. There is a lot of research and new technology being used to support this amazing bird’s recovery.

Fun facts

New Zealand has an official spokesbird for conservation called Sirocco! Learn all about Sirocco here.

Kākāpō are endemic to New Zealand, which means that they are only found in New Zealand and nowhere else in the entire world.

In New Zealand, the Southern Hemisphere seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere, which means it's summer in December and winter in July! Make sure to bring the proper clothing for the season if you ever visit NZ!

Because Kākāpō are so round, they hop and waddle when they walk!

Kākāpō means "parrot of the night" in Māori! Kākā means "parrot," and pō means "night.”

Chris Birmingham| Source: Department of Conservation (NZ)

Why did you choose the Kākāpō?

The concept is traced back to the Party Parrot meme which originated from YouTube in 2009. Mark Carwardine was filming a documentary for BBC Nature. He and a Kākāpō named Sirocco shared a funny experience which was shared around the world. This video was turned into GIFs and emotes. They were used across many social media platforms, even infiltrating some corporate Slack workspaces.

We love birbs. They’re wonderful, fun, and amazing creatures. Our team loves nature and we want to support this amazing parrot in its recovery. Our New Zealand community members have helped inspire the Kākāpō awareness efforts. In our digital world, we want to remind everyone about the wonders and importance of nature.

The Kākāpō represents what we want to do for our community. Just like how the Kākāpō has grown up in the safety of protected islands, we want our Hideaways to be the protective worlds for you, the coming generations of good eggs. Together, we can build these worlds and experiences for our community!

Learn more about the Kākāpō from the New Zealand Department of Conservation.


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