The world’s fattest parrot, the critically endangered kakapo, has enjoyed a record-breaking breeding season. New Zealand scientists said that climate change is possibly aiding the species’ unique mating spree. Less than 50 years after the flightless nocturnal bird was thought to have been extinct, at least 75 chicks are expected to survive this year.
This will significantly boost the population which has grown to 147 adults since a small number of the plump green, yellow and black birds was discovered in 1970. The kakapo is an “unusual” parrot as the females control the breeding process and only mate every two to four years when New Zealand’s native rimu trees are full of fruit.
The rimu trees have produced a bumper crop this year. One theory was that climate change and temperature fluctuations could be behind the berry bonanza. The surviving kakapo — whose name means “night parrot” in Maori — are kept on four predator-free islands off the New Zealand coast.