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20 March 2002 @ 03:12 am
a spot of good news  
Up until this year, there were only 62 kakapo, the night parrots of New Zealand, in all the world, and none had been born for three years. Great care had been taken to secure safe habitat for the remaining handful, entire islands having been rendered cat and rat free to give them places to live. But all these efforts had only managed to maintain the numbers -- some chicks had been born, but only enough to replace those who died.

I've had a soft spot for the kakapo ever since reading Douglas Adam's Last Chance to See, his sad, beautiful and angry poem to the dying species of the earth and those who try to save them.

So it is a considerable joy to report that this year, 23 kakapo chicks have been born, and there are still eggs being laid.
Brian Kendigfoxmagic on March 20th, 2002 07:02 am (UTC)
Hee... the birds are adorable! And I'm really glad to see that the attempts to repopulate them seem to be meeting some success!

Not that un-adorable species have any less right to be repopulated... but cuteness helps. It's survival of the cuddliest, I guess.

I got a chance to see Douglas Adams ten years or so ago, on a book tour for 'Last Chance to See'. He read passages from it and from some of his Hitchihikers books. I'll never forget the experience. :-)

Lauratavella on March 20th, 2002 11:14 am (UTC)
They have that unique helpless, bizarre quality that island species without predators get. The Dodo! The Auk! Fortunately, they managed to hang on long enough for us to get a clue.

I thinkLast Chance to See was the best thing that Adams ever did, and I'm a Hitchhikers fan.