The story behind Kākāpō

What’s in a name? The story behind Kākāpō

Kākāpō, is the second neighbourhood to be released in Karamū. Continuing Karamū, Riccarton Park’s focus on the nature of the area, this neighbourhood is named for one of the world’s rarest parrots - our very own Kākāpō. Once New Zealand’s third most common bird; today, just 149 remain.

Thought to have lived in Canterbury many centuries ago the vegetarian and nocturnal Kākāpō (Strigops habroptila) are the only flightless parrots, and can live up to 90 years. Sometimes kept as pets by ancient Māori, the Kākāpō feed on species including Rimu, (their favourite), Southern Beech, and Manuka. Let’s hope we see them back someday.


Photo credit Theo Thompson - DOC

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