|Kakato birds in captivity|
We discussed about Polymotu concept with Dr Jean-Dominique Lebreton, the director of the Centre for Functional and Evolutional Ecology at Montpellier, France. Then Dr Lebreton made a very interesting connection between Polymotu and what is achieved in New Zealand in the field of conservation of endangered birds.
Humans have had a profound effect on many bird species. Over one hundred species have gone extinct in historical times, although the most dramatic human-caused extinctions occurred in the Pacific Ocean as humans colonised the islands, during which an estimated 750-1800 species of bird went extinct. According to Worldwatch Institute, many bird populations are currently declining worldwide, with 1,200 species facing extinction in the next century.
Translocations involve moving populations of threatened species into areas of suitable habitat currently unused by the species. There are several reasons for doing this; the creation of secondary populations that act as an insurance against disaster, or in many cases threats faced by the original population in its current location.
|Kakato Bird in the wild|
Between 1974 and 1992, kakapo birds were translocated to four of New Zealand's offshore islands (Maud, Little Barrier, Codfish, and Mana). Few, if any, kakapo now remain within their former range. Regular monitoring and intensive management of the translocated populations is being undertaken. In April 1998, a total population of fifty-six kakapo was known to survive on offshore islands.
|Maud Island in New Zealand|
|Codfish Island in New Zealand|
Joyce, L. (2008) Movement patterns, home range and habitat selection by kakapo (Strigops habroptilus, Gray 1845) following translocation to Pearl Island, Southern New Zealand. Phd Thesis, University of Otago, Neaw Zealand.