All you need to know about Kakapo, the world fattest parrot

All you need to know about Kakapo, the world fattest parrot

Say hello to the kākāpō – the world’s heaviest parrot.

It’s been named New Zealand’s bird of the year for a second time!

The kākāpō – also known as “mighty moss chicken” – first won in 2008.

It’s an endangered species, but due to conservation efforts the population of this parrot has risen from 50 during the 1990s to 213 now.

Organisers said the competition has improved environmental awareness in the country.

Facts about the kākāpō

  • It’s the world’s fattest and longest-living parrot.
  • This chunky creature is the only parrot in the world that can’t fly. Instead, they hop along the floor using their wings for balance.
  • They used to live throughout New Zealand but now only survive on predator-free islands.
  • The kākāpō has been described as the ‘party parrot’ after one mated with a zoologist’s head during a BBC documentary.
  • Male kākāpō attract females with a loud booming call.
  • A dangerous fungal infection is affecting these birds. Since April, 36 birds – a fifth of their population – have been sent to animal hospitals.

Laura Keown, spokesperson for the competition, said: “The things that make kākāpō unique also make them vulnerable to threats. They are slow breeders, they nest on the ground and their main defence is to imitate a shrub.

“Those qualities worked great in the island of birds the kākāpō evolved in but they don’t fool introduced predators like stoats, rats and cats.”

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