Kiran Chug writes in the Dominion Post about concerns over whether Sirocco the kakapo should be allowed to continue his visits back to a kakapo sanctuary island.
A new untreatable strain of a beak and feather virus has been found in native parrots, and scientists are worried that the disease might spread to Sirocco and, if he continues to visits to the sanctuary island, to the other kakapo, with potentially disastrous effects.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“Last month, The Dominion Post revealed the scientists’ concerns that the fatal disease could spread to kakapo – of which there are only 123 living birds.
“Conservation Department kakapo programme scientist Ron Moorhouse said big decisions now needed to be made about Sirocco’s future, not only to protect him from the disease, but also to protect the critically endangered kakapo population.
“In January, Prime Minister John Key gave Sirocco the title of official “spokesbird” of conservation as part of New Zealand’s role in the International Year of Biodiversity.”