|Image from Kakapo Recovery Programme|
Because they cannot fly, Kakapo must find other ways to get around. They are excellent climbers, and can use their wings to slow them down when jumping. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Kakapo may be the longest lived birds in existence. It is estimated they can live up to 90 years, though no one is sure. Since the recovery programs were begun in the 1980s, not a single bird discovered has died from old age, and many were already adults when they were found. They have very slow lifestyles; females don't start breeding till the age of six and chicks are only produced every few years.
The Kakapo Recovery Programme has been working to breed and sustain the existing population. They have spent years tracking down the remaining Kakapo and monitoring their activities. Because of the low numbers, inbreeding has been an issue and has caused high percentages of infertile eggs. The KRP has been doing genetic testing to maximize genetic diversity, and they have also been working with artificial insemination to increase the fertility of females (who tend to lay fertilized eggs more successfully if they mate more than once).
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