Real Journeys partners with DOC Kakapo Recovery Team to bring Kakapo chicks to Arrowtown

15 May 2014

In a first for the region Real Journeys and the Department of Conservation’s Kākāpō Recovery Team are bringing three precious Kākāpō chicks to Arrowtown for a public viewing on Friday 23 May.

The Kākāpō Chicks' Day Out will be held at the Athenaeum Hall from 11.30am-1pm – admittance is by gold coin donation with the proceeds going towards the Kākāpō Recovery Programme.

Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says this is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for people to see rare Kākāpō chicks.

“Everyone at Real Journeys is so excited to be involved in this collaboration – we put out a note to our staff asking for volunteers to help on the day and we’ve literally been inundated with responses," says Lauder.

“Real Journeys has supported a number of native bird recovery programmes over the years with many of our staff actively involved in initiatives in Fiordland and Stewart Island. Conservation really is in the DNA of our business so it’s nice to be able to do something with the Kākāpō Recovery Programme.”

There are less than 150 Kākāpō left in the world and the intention is that three of the six chicks hatched in the 2014 breeding season, who are currently being hand reared in Invercargill, will be at the Kakapo Chicks' Day Out;  Lisa1, Rakiura2 and Heather1.

Head of the Department of Conservation Kākāpō Recovery team Deidre Vercoe says the chicks will be flown in accompanied by their minders.

“We want people to see the Kākāpō chicks but also learn about what makes them so special and of course raise awareness to assist with their recovery," says Deidre.

“Kākāpō welfare is at the heart of the event so all steps will be taken to ensure the chicks remain healthy and relaxed.  Previous viewings of hand reared kākāpō have been a huge success, so while cancellation of the event is always a possibility, it is expected the chicks will take it all in their stride.”

The Kākāpō Chicks' Day Out will include an audio-visual presentation and question and answer sessions as well as viewing opportunities.  Local primary schools are being invited to a separate viewing prior to the public opening.

Kākāpō chicks are named according to their nest mother and egg number:

  • Lisa1-2-14 (Lisa1 for short) – Lisa’s first egg and only chick of a two egg clutch
  • Rakiura2-3-14 (Rakiura2 for short) – Rakiura’s second egg of three egg clutch
  • Heather1-3-14 (Heather1 for short) – Heather’s first egg of a three egg clutch

Kākāpō Chicks' Day Out advert.

For further information contact:

Lenska Papich - Real Journeys Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +64 21 523 899