Mounted Kakapo Specimen; Strigops habroptilus; 2002/210.020


Mounted Kakapo Specimen

Taxonomic Classification

Strigops habroptilus

About this object

This kakapo specimen is mounted in a somewhat unnatural low-set posture, leaning forward. Nevertheless, it shows quite clearly the camouflaging patterns on this large parrot’s feathers. They are mottled with different shades of bright green, yellow, and brown, darker on the back and tail and lighter on the underside and head.

Although they have wings, kakapos do not fly. They are also, unlike other parrots, usually only active at night, which is reflected in their Maori name (kaka = parrot, po = night). Kakapos feed on plants and fruits on the forest floor and in low vegetation. Males attract mates by making loud booming noises and conducting elaborate courting dances.

Kakapos were once widespread throughout most of New Zealand. Their remains are found in some local sites. The kakapo’s secretive habits and colouration, however, were no defence against introduced mammals hunting by smell. They disappeared from this area several hundred years ago. Only a few dozen kakapos now remain on predator-free islands where they are intensively managed.

Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution - Non-commercial - No Derivatives (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial - No Derivatives (cc)

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