Endangered bird hatches from egg held together with glue, tape
From repairing crushed eggs to developing alluring perfumes that encourage breeding, conservationists are determined to save New Zealand's rare kakapo.
Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM
New Zealand conservationists recently proved their resourcefulness when an extremely rare kakapo chick hatched from a cracked egg that was held together with tape and glue.
Lisa, the mother parrot, had accidentally crushed the egg, so conservationists at Kakapo Recovery used masking tape in hopes the tiny flightless parrot would survive.
The chick, named Lisa One, joins a population of just 125 of the nocturnal birds.
The parrots are so few that each of them has a name, and Kakapo Recovery records them on the kakapo family tree.
Kakapos were once one of the most common birds in New Zealand, but the introduction of predators like cats and stoats by European settlers left the birds critically endangered.
Adding to the kakapo's troubles is that it's ground-dwelling and weighs 2 to 8 pounds, making it the heaviest of the world's parrots — and notoriously slow-moving.
Although they're strong climbers, the birds freeze when confronted by a threat, and the males attract mates by emitting a deep sound that makes them conspicuous to predators.
Making the birds' plight even worse is that they’re incredibly slow breeders, reproducing only in seasons when there's abundant native fruit.
Efforts to save the kakapo began in the 1990s, and the birds were moved to two remote islands where invasive predators had been removed.
However, the program encountered a serious setback when male birds imprinted on their human handlers and saw them as more appealing mates than female kakapos.
In an attempt to encourage breeding, scientists developed a kakapo cologne meant to make male birds smell more attractive to potential mates.
Kakapos are known for their sociable nature and were once commonly kept as pets.
Today, the parrots often approach strangers and have been known to climb them or even preen them. However, this friendly behavior isn't always welcome.
Comedian Stephen Fry witnessed one kakapo's amorous antics in 2009 when a parrot attempted to mate with zoologist Mark Carwardine's head.
In the photos below, take a look at the taped-up egg that Lisa One hatched from, and see how well she's doing now in the video.
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