Kakapo: rescued from the brink of extinction.
Nelson: Craig Potton Publishing, 2010.
Octavo, dustwrapper, 215 pp. colour photographs, map.
'The Kakapo is a bird that reminds me of the British motorbike industry. It had things its own way for so long that it simply became eccentric.' Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The Kakapo is one of New Zealand's most charismatic yet mysterious birds. It is also one of the world's most threatened species and a New Zealand conservation success story. An ancient, flightless, nocturnal, herbivorous giant parrot, the Kakapo was once numerous throughout the country but is now extinct in its natural range. At its low point, the population was reduced to as few as 40 known individuals, but thanks to the hard work and innovation of the Kakapo Recovery Programme, New Zealand's flagship threatened-species conservation programme, the kakapo population now exceeds 120. Despite this exciting turnaround, there has not been a significant book on the Kakapo since 1989. The story of this remarkable bird embraces science, conservation, ingenuity and personal dedication. Through an informative and entertaining mix of hard facts, history, and accounts of the daily and seasonal routines of kakapo and their minders, Alison Ballance brings together these threads to describe the natural history of the bird and tell the inspiring story of the Kakapo Recovery Programme. Illustrated throughout and with an appendix giving details of all known Kakapo, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the natural world of New Zealand.