Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 8, 2006

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An illustration of a Kakapo

The Kakapo is a species of nocturnal parrot, endemic to New Zealand. It is notable for being the world's only flightless parrot, the heaviest parrot, and the only parrot to have a lek breeding system. It is also the only flightless lek bird and is possibly one of the world's longest-living birds. It is the only species in the genus Strigops and subfamily Strigopinae. Kakapo are critically endangered, with only 86 living individuals known, all of whom are named. Prehistorically, the ancestral Kakapo migrated to the islands of New Zealand and, in the absence of mammalian predators, it lost the ability to fly. With Polynesian and European colonisation and the introduction of predators such as cats, rats, and stoats, almost all the Kakapo were wiped out. Conservation efforts began in the 1890s, but they were not very successful until the implementation of the Kakapo Recovery Plan in the 1980s. All surviving Kakapo are kept on two predator-free islands, Chalky Island in south-west Fiordland and Codfish Island/Whenuahou near Stewart Island/Rakiura, where they are closely monitored. (continued...)

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