Three kakapo chicks have made a rare public appearance in Arrowtown today, aiming to increase public awareness and fundraise for the endangered species.
The three chicks on display today came up from Invercargill as the kakapo population soars, from just 40 birds to 128, under a partnership between the Department of Conservation and New Zealand Aluminium Smelters.
Visitors in Arrowtown had to pay a gold coin donation to see the birds; any contribution counts.
One of the reasons so few kakapo are left is because the mothers have to work extremely hard to raise the chicks.
"She climbs to the top of some very tall rimu trees and forages for some very small rimu beries all night long, and then comes back down to the nest and feeds the chick," said Deidre Vercoe from the Department of Conservation.
After today's viewing the baby birds are headed to Whanua Hau, Codfish Island early next month for around four weeks.