The Critically Endangered Kakapo, a beloved parrot endemic to New Zealand, has seen renewed breeding success thanks to innovative technologies.
The future of the vibrant, forest green Kakapo has long been uncertain, due to human-introduced invasive rats, stoats, and feral cats. However, thanks to 3-D printing technology, this year’s breeding season has surpassed everyone’s expectations.
The Kakapo is one of the more peculiar species within the avian world. In fact, it is referred to by some as the owl parrot thanks to the owl-like and somewhat comical appearance of its wide beak. It’s goofy and cute appearance aside, it is also the only species of bird in the entire world which is both nocturnal and flightless. However, what makes it unique also puts it at risk. Its inability to fly coupled with its habit of halting in peril at the sight of a predator has led to the steady decline of this species. It is currently categorized as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, with only 147 adults currently residing on predator-free islands in New Zealand.