Monday, August 06, 2018


A new, updated edition of Alison Ballance's Kākāpō book comes out in September and is available for pre-order now from Potton & Burton!
New Zealand’s threatened night parrot, the kākāpō, has been the focus of a remarkable conservation effort that has seen the bird’s population rise from a perilous low of 51 aging birds to three times that number. Kākāpō are unique and unusual birds. Long-lived, flightless heavyweights, they only breed every two to four years, and survive on just a small number of predator-free island sanctuaries.
A dedicated team of rangers and scientists know every kākāpō by name, and people from around the world follow this pioneering conservation programme on social media. Every new chick is celebrated, every death is mourned, and the antics of the most famous kākāpō of all, Sirocco, make headlines. Natural history writer and broadcaster Alison Ballance has been involved with kākāpō since the mid-1990s, and has a unique insight into the birds and their human minders. In this fully updated edition of Kākāpō, she follows the fall and rise of one of the world’s most unusual birds, from the brink of extinction through a roller-coaster ride of hope and loss, to today, when the species has a bright future ahead. These are exciting times for kākāpō and after 30 years of intensive management the Department of Conservation’s Kākāpō Recovery team hope they are about to do themselves out of a job.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Brian Cox Meets An Aye-Aye

Here's a lovely clip of Professor Brian Cox with an Aye Aye lemur in this clips from the BBC "Wonders of Life" series. Brian gives us a nice close up of his long bony finger.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Lisa vs Tutoko at the kakapo feeder

Here's some very nice new footage of Kakapos Lisa and Tutoko feeding at special supplementary feeding stations. 2018 is still looking like it's going to be a very good breeding year. Fingers crossed!

Friday, August 03, 2018

Last Chance to See - Netflix USA

A reminder that the wonderful Last Chance To See TV series sequel to the original radio series is currently available on Netflix in the USA. For now it's just the original 6 episode series from 2009, and not the follow up "Return of the Rhino" episode.  It's a great series, presented by Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine, and well worth checking out if you've never seen it before.

Douglas Adams talks to Clive Anderson

This is really nice. I probably watched this at the time, but I just stumbled upon this interview on YouTube. Here's Douglas Adams interviewed by Clive Anderson on his Talks Back show including talking about the Last Chance To See book.  Great stuff!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sudan, the world’s last male Northern White Rhino is dead

Very sad news this morning as we learn of the death of Sudan, the very last male Northern White Rhino. Stephen Fry was among many to Tweet this terrible news. Here's the NBC News article.
The world's last male northern white rhino, Sudan, has died after "age-related complications," researchers announced Tuesday, saying he "stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength." A statement from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya said the 45-year-old rhino was euthanized on Monday after his condition "worsened significantly" and he was no longer able to stand. His muscles and bones had degenerated and his skin had extensive wounds, with a deep infection on his back right leg.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Bumper Rimu Fruit Crop Expected, Great Kakapo Breeding Season Should Result....

Great news from New Zealand. The Rimu crop this year is going to be exceptional, so everyone is looking forward to a fantastic Kakapo breeding season! Here's a Tweet from Dr Andrew Digby.
Oh WOW. Rimu new fruit counts from Whenua Hou just in, and they've blown us away: median=47%! That’s huge, even compared to previous big breeding years: 2002=38%, 2009=35%. 2019 could be MASSIVE for #kakapo!
And another Tweet...
Some people don’t like graphs, so here’s another take on new rimu counts. 2016 was biggest #kakapo breeding season in living memory, with 122 eggs. Next year there'll likely be twice as much breeding food...