The kakapo is a rare nocturnal bird found in New Zealand. Also known as the night parrot, the kakapo is distinguishable from other wild birds because it doesn’t fly and lives on the ground. Kakapo is an endangered species because, currently, few are remaining. Multiple factors are contributing to the bird’s extinction.
For instance, the bird is hunted by various predators like dogs and human beings. Additionally, kakapo breeds irregularly because they depend on nutrients from fruits of specific plants to feed their young ones. Some of these plants, like pine, take around six years to fruit.
Because kakapo is on the verge of extinction, the government and private conservation organizations are applying various tactics to conserve the bird. This piece highlights and explains some of the technologies that are used to save kakapo from extinction.
Solving the problem of infertility through technology
A majority of kakapo eggs are infertile. To counteract this problem, scientists apply various methods. These include the use of artificial insemination and assisted breeding. Artificial insemination entails harvesting semen from the male birds and evaluating it. After the evaluation, semen is artificially delivered to the female bird.
Through assisted breeding, scientists ensure that the original kakapos are genetically represented. Additionally, assisted reproduction makes it possible for the simulation of mating on females. This simulation can be done several times.
The scientists apply drone technology to enable the sperms to reach the female birds on time. The use of this technology is essential as it allows for the fast delivery of sperms to the birds that have been relocated to faraway islands.
Use of transmitters
Each kakapo has a transmitter that relays information to the conservationists. For instance, the wire informs the conservationists about the bird’s status, position, and the amount of battery remaining. Additionally, males and females are equipped with distinguishable transmitters to enable the monitoring of various behaviors.
The transmitters also help to control how the birds are fed. This helps to enable the birds to breed regularly rather than after a long duration. For instance, feeding the birds with certain nutrients during breeding tricks them to behave like the rim tree is at the fruiting stage. Usually, these trees fruit after approximately two to four years.
Smart Eggs Technology
The use of incubators enables positive outcomes from hatching. However, kakapo mothers sufficiently prepare to raise the young ones upon sensing sounds from the eggs. The use of 3-D technology has enabled the making of smart eggs that mimic the sound of real eggs.
While the real eggs are hatching in the incubator, kakapo mothers are left with the dummy eggs. Upon hatching, the chicks are brought to the mother, which starts caring and feeding them.
Use of data loggers
The data loggers are placed at specific locations. They contain particular software and loggers that collect information and about kakapo movements, feeding control, and regulation of weight.
The near-extinction of kakapo has jolted the scientific community to come up with multiple sophisticated technologies meant not only to conserve but to increase the population of these birds. This article has highlighted and explained some of the techniques applied.