In every parrot lover’s life there are several blue-ribbon moments, such as bringing home your first bird, having your first successful training session or taking pride in an enrichment offering you created. A recent one for me was seeing parrots in the wild and realizing that people can make a difference in the success of an endangered parrot species’ survival. On a recent trip to New Zealand and Australia to speak to companion parrot owners, I was fortunate enough to have experienced this special blue-ribbon moment.
In May 2011, I traveled with animal trainer Barbara Heidenreich to Nelson, New Zealand, to meet Ron Moorhouse, a scientist with the Kakapo Recovery program. There are only 127 kakapo parrots left in the world, and the species is thought to be the oldest surviving parrot in the world. In the majority of cases of species endangered through the acts of mankind the issue is habitat loss or destruction. This isn't the case with the kakapo.
For the full article, pick up the May 2012 issue of BIRD TALK at your local retailer or by purchasing a PDF download here.
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