Story: Threatened species

Kākāpō remains, Stewart Island

Kākāpō remains, Stewart Island

This is all that remained of Solomon, an adult kākāpō, after he was caught by a wild cat. A tag from his foot is visible. Having driven kākāpō to the brink of extinction, human actions are now the reason for their 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, but in 2022 there were nearly 200.

Using this item

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

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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 5 July 2022)

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