Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Kokako (Callaeas cinerea) is a forest bird which is endemic to New Zealand. It is slate-grey with a black mask and wattles. It is one of three New Zealand wattlebirds, the other two being the endangered Saddleback and the extinct Huia.
The North Island Kokako, with blue wattles, is endangered, with less than 400 pairs in existence. It survives in low numbers in several mainland native forests with the help of government-funded pest control programmes. Populations are being established through releases on predator-free offshore islands. As a result, conservationists are hopeful of the species' long-term survival.
The South Island Kokako , with orange wattles, is thought to be functionally extinct (i.e. the species can no longer reproduce because only a few older males may survive). A confirmed sighting has not occurred in several decades, though unconfirmed sightings are very occasionally reported.
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