Story: Threatened species

Kākāpō remains, Stewart Island

Kākāpō remains, Stewart Island

This is all that remains of Solomon, an adult kākāpō caught by a wild cat. A tag from its foot is visible. Having driven kākāpō to the brink of extinction, human actions are now the reason for its survival. In the 1970s only 18 birds were known in the wild, in Fiordland. Then in 1977, 85 more birds were found on southern Stewart Island. Wild cats were killing them, and 61 birds were taken to predator-free islands in the early 1980s. In 2005, kākāpō were classified as ‘nationally critical’. By 2007 there were just 86.

About this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10027982
Photograph by A. K. Munn

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond, 'Threatened species - What is a threatened species?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 March 2018)

Story by Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007