Rare parrot needs the right feed to breed

2019-04-03 09:16:02

(Image: Birds of New Zealand, Walter Lawry Buller (1873) / Wikimedia Commons) THE Atkins diet might work for Hollywood starlets, but it’s hopeless at coaxing the world’s biggest and most endangered parrot to breed. Conservationists have been filling kakapos with high-protein supplements in the hope of boosting their numbers above just 91, but it now seems they have been focusing on the wrong nutrient. The flightless New Zealand birds only breed when they can feast on the rimu, a conifer that only fruits every three to four years. In non-fruiting years,