Nest cam puts eyes of world on kakapo

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 22/04/2014
Kakapo mother and chick
Supplied
AT RISK: The kakapo has been named one of the world's most unique and endangered birds.

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Codfish Island's rare kakapo are set to star in their own reality television series.

For the first time ever, the world will be able to watch kakapo nesting activity live.

A partnership between Telecom New Zealand and Kakapo Recovery has resulted in a camera being set up at a nest on the remote kakapo island sanctuary off Stewart Island in Foveaux Strait.

The life, trials and tribulations of Kakapo foster mother Esperence and the chick she is caring for will be streamed in real time, using technology provided by the telecommunications giant.

Kakapo Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said few people in the world had the chance to witness kakapo nesting, given kakapo didn't breed every year and it occurred in such a remote place.

"This year, we've had the first breeding since 2011. To be able to share this rare event with our supporters throughout the world is extremely exciting and we are so grateful to Telecom for helping us make it happen."

Telecom general manager corporate relations Andrew Pirie said it was a valuable opportunity to support Kakapo Recovery in a way that would increase awareness and enhance education about a critically endangered New Zealand species.

"Because so much of the recovery programme takes place in the wild, on remote and protected islands, kakapo nesting has to date been limited to a very small audience," Pirie said.

"We're delighted to have the connectivity in this remote location, and to contribute the technology needed to enable this precious event to be shared live with the world," he said.

Kakapo Recovery is a partnership between the New Zealand Department of Conservation, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd and Forest & Bird.

NZAS general manager Gretta Stephens said she was thrilled people all over the world could share in the success of the programme. "Our staff at NZAS have loved working in partnership with the Recovery team."

The nestcam footage will stream via the Kakapo Recovery website 24 hours a day, however the activity will occur during the New Zealand night time, because kakapo are nocturnal.

For a glimpse into life on a kakapo nest click here.

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- The Southland Times

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