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Sat Mar 14, 2020, 08:53 AM

How the world's fattest parrot came back from the brink

New Zealand’s kākāpō has long been endangered, but when a deadly fungal disease struck the country’s vets came to the rescue

Growing up in the north of England, Dr James Chatterton was enthralled by the books of the pioneering zookeeper and conservationist Gerald Durrell and dreamed of saving endangered species. Now, on the other side of the world, Chatterton has done just that, helping to bring the world’s fattest parrot back from the brink.

Chatterton and his team spent the best part of a year bringing in quarantine conditions and trialling new treatments on the frontline of a killer disease afflicting New Zealand’s kākāpō.

snip

The respiratory disease aspergillosis began to spread through the endangered kākāpō population last April, threatening to reverse the gains of the bird’s most successful breeding season in living memory.

Kākāpōs are not just rare, they are also deeply weird: flightless, nocturnal, with fragrant feathers and a comical waddling run. Males “boom” to attract females, and they only breed every three to six years when the native rimu trees “mast”, or produce large numbers of seeds. Last year was a “mega-mast”, the ripe fruit carpeting the ground, and the kākāpōs responded by laying eggs earlier than ever before.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/14/worlds-fattest-parrot-comeback-from-extinction-aoe

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Reply How the world's fattest parrot came back from the brink (Original post)
rpannier Mar 2020 OP
BlancheSplanchnik Mar 2020 #1

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Mar 14, 2020, 10:23 AM

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