Aaron's Reviews > Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

Kakapo Rescue by Sy Montgomery
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's review
Jan 02, 2011

really liked it

This endearing book introduces readers to the kakapo, which is a flightless bird that is considered the heaviest parrot in the world. Native to New Zealand, these birds have been brought to the edge of extinction primarily through human settlement (and the accompanying non-native wildlife brought with it) of the islands. There are now only about 90 individuals left among the species.

Author and Montgomery and photographer Bishop got to spend 10 days on Codfish Island, which has been set aside as a refuge for the kakapo. While there, they accompany a team of people who are dedicated to trying to bring the species back into viable numbers. Many of the individuals that make up the team have been working on the project for decades.

The book does a wonderful job of introducing the readers to the various reserve team members as well as a number of the individuals that make up the kakapo population. It does not take much for the reader to become attached to these adorable little birds, which only makes it more difficult when the reader gets to a point when one of the birds dies. While telling the stories of those involved, Montgomery weaves in details about kakapos, the history of them and the islands, and information about the decades-long attempts to keep the species thriving. This includes a side stories relating to to some important people tied to the history of bird preservation in New Zealand and around the world.

Also included is information about the specific processes the members of the preservation team must do to feed and care for the individuals as they try to encourage higher breading levels. Sanitation is of upmost importance, but there is also important coverage of nutritional supplements and relationships built between the birds and with their human neighbors.

This is a great presentation for younger adolescents and older children who might have an interest in green jobs, particularly those working with endangered animals. I found the books truly interesting, and any fan of animals probably will, too.
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