Look at NatureSpace’s newest visitor! This stylish mesh and steel kākāpō is two and a half metres long, a metre and a half tall, and is wearing a fashionable set of paper feathers covered in conservation-related messages from children. It ‘s part of the Words on a Wing campaign being run by the Department of Conservation, and it’s been a rather busy bird.
At the start of the year, somebody Very Important at DOC made a list of places for it to travel. It’s from Wellington, right? So it should go to Wellington Zoo. Check. Zealandia, check. Te Papa? Check. The Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan….check. Well, why not? It’s not like any other kākāpō is going to get the chance to go flying any time soon.
But there’s a hitch. A flaw. A kink. One that could keep the poor Kākāpō grounded at Wellington airport, sadly looking out the window as the plane to Japan takes off without it. See, we can’t get kākāpō a passport until Kākāpō has a name. This is serious stuff, and we need your help.
Come into NatureSpace on level 2 between today and when Te Papa closes on August 23. Fill out a feather and inform some powerful people what your views are on conservation and kaitiakitanga (looking after the planet). Then grab an entry form and tell us what you think we should call Kākāpō. If our bunch of esteemed bird experts likes your name best of all, then we will send you and your family for a day surrounded by gorgeous native creatures in Zealandia. For free!
Not only that, but world-famous New Zealander Sirocco Kākāpō will announce the choice to the world every which way as fast as he can type (and he’s getting pretty good). The most famous kākāpō in the world is going to make you famous too!
Besides Te Papa, Kākāpō can be found in peaceful forest settings and on the
internet. Here are some peaceful electric glades you can find a Kākāpō or two:
1. This quiz about kākāpō that the Kiwi Consvervation Club put together.
2. The Words on a Wing page at DOC. It comes with photos so you can see where Kākāpō has been. There’s also a kit so you can make your own kākāpō in two or three dimensions. Astounding!
3. The hard-working men and women of the Kākāpō Recovery programme have their own website. They’re based out of Whenua Hou-Codfish Island, which is off the west coast of Stewart Island. You can read about everything they do, and even follow it on their blog.
4. We in the Discovery Centres are not just pretty faces, though many of us are pretty, and those that aren’t pretty are quite handsome. If you go to our website, you can see what we have to visit, and maybe check out some of our cool school art projects, like the work that Te Kura Māori o Porirua did for Te Huka ā Tai. Definitely worth coming in for!