Meridian and the kākāpō.
How we’re helping renew a species.

One of the more colourful creatures in New Zealand forests, the kākāpō is an endangered national treasure, with current population sitting at only 147 birds. At Meridian, we have teamed up with the Department of Conservation to support the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, which aims to get kākāpō off the endangered list and back to their former natural range.

And it’s not just a partnership between us and DOC. We work closely with Ngāi Tahu. “Kākāpō are treasured by Ngāi Tahu as a taonga species, they are part of our tribal identity and it’s wonderful to see that Meridian values them too,” says Tāne Davis, the Ngāi Tahu appointee to the Kākāpō Recovery Group.

Meridian’s involvement helps fund research and initiatives relating to genetics, nutrition, disease management and finding new sites. It also helps raise awareness of the plight of kākāpō.

Egg

Kakapo Image lockup 2

Smart Eggs. The future of breeding.

One of the innovations we’re helping fund is the Smart Egg, a 3D-printed egg that helps with the incubation process. (But these eggs are only useful after breeding kicks off, which is why we’re also providing them with saxy saxophone music to get them in the mood.)

Often once a kākāpō lays an egg, the egg is removed from its nest and hatched in an incubator, and a dummy egg is placed in the nest in its place.

That’s where Smart Eggs come in. Smart Eggs mimic the sound and motion of a real egg, ensuring both the mother and nest are prepared for the arrival of the chick after it’s hatched and is returned to the nest.

Smart Eggs also keep track of other useful data, like the temperature and humidity of the nest. All this results in a higher hatching rate than the natural approach.

Developed in collaboration with the International Centre of Birds of Prey, if Smart Eggs are a success with the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, they could be used with many other endangered species around the globe.

Kākāpō recovery programme

Saxophonist wanted to help get birds breeding #savethekākāpō