This grant will support the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) that has partnered with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to protect the Critically Endangered kākāpō. The DOC is charged with the management of the Kākāpō Recovery programme that combines the efforts of scientists, rangers, volunteers and donors to protect the remaining global population of around 200 kākāpō individuals.
The project will:
Renew incubators and brooders for kākāpō breeding management. As the kākāpō population continues to grow, there is a growing need for resources to support the core breeding management work. The project will renew the incubation and brooding facilities across all four kākāpō breeding islands to ensure that reliable equipment is available and to maximise consistency of equipment across sites. This will contribute directly to better species management and conservation outcomes.
Introduce regular GPS monitoring of kākāpō with GPS receivers. As a nocturnal, cryptic species that is hard to monitor, little is known about kākāpō behaviour at night. GPS tags on kākāpō have demonstrated their potential to provide better estimates of kākāpō habitat use and home range size, investigate the potential for disease transmission and uncover unknown aspects of kākāpō breeding behaviour. In particular, GPS trackers will provide important information on dispersal and habitat use of kākāpō introduced to new island sites.