Feathers of the flightless kakapo are being flown around the world as part of a Massey biologist’s quest to understand the role of the critically endangered native parrot’s sense of smell and the power of male feather fragrance on breeding behaviour.
One of the rarest birds of all is New Zealand's Kakapo, which is a flightless bird. The species has been largely wiped out by introduced predatory mammals such as feral cats, stoats, and possum; being hunted as game and for its feathers; and they reproduce only every 3-5 years. For over 100 years New Zealand has made efforts to protect the species. In 1989 it instituted a new recovery program, and now can be seen a slow but steady increase in numbers.