kakapo: long-lost bird is back after 21 years; artificial insemination

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Kakapo back to nest after 21 years
The flightless nocturnal bird was one of four male kakapo released on the 1400ha conservation sanctuary, near Stewart Island, in 1987 without a transmitter. He had not been seen since.
Kakapo ranger Chris Birmingham told the Sunday Star-Times he was surprised to hear a male booming, its unique resonant mating call, near South Bay, where no kakapo had been detected before.

It was only then that he realised the bird’s significance because it wore a numbered metal band on his leg. Incredibly, Rangi survived two aerial poison drops during Codfish Island’s rat eradication in 1998.

By yesterday, 17 female kakapo had mated, seven had nested and 14 eggs laid, but more nests, eggs and matings were expected daily for weeks to come.

source: stuff.co.nz

Vet first to artificially inseminate a kakapo
Last month, Dr Blanco artificially inseminated a kakapo, making him the first person to successfully perform the procedure on a wild endemic, endangered bird.
Dr Blanco said the purpose was to ensure genetic diversity among kakapo on the island, where only two male birds were the dominant breeders.

source: stuff.co.nz

according to the first article, they were using sperm of Richard Henry – the only surviving kakapo from fjordland, which is believed to be more than 70 years old.

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