Parrot’s star turn lifts eco-island’s profile
BIRD droppings from the Department of Conservation’s Kakapo Recovery spokesbird, Sirocco, are to be used to fund a $350,000 major alteration on Mt Mangatautari’s ecological island.
The ‘‘leavings’’ of the popular hand-raised flightless bird, presently educating and entertaining at the island, are to be gathered and auctioned as good fertiliser by the Manga Trust.
The Mangatautari Ecological Island Trust said the expensive clip-on attachment prevents their kakapo from escaping into other parts of the reserve as the birds are excellent climbers and can climb up and over the pest- proof fencing.
MEIT general manager Malcolm Anderson said kakapo Sirocco’s ‘‘ poo’’ will be auctioned as a fertiliser along with a voucher giving the winning bidder a chance to buy a rimu tree to be planted on the reserve.
In aid of Conservation Week, a chance to release a kiwi on to Mt Maungatautari is open to any of Sirocco’s visitors this week.
An intimate 20-minute experi- ence with the cheeky entertainer will be drawn from those who made bookings before September 1.
Like any celebrity, regular health checks and a designated minder ensure Sirocco is well cared for.
He has visited Dunedin’s Orokonui Ecosanctuary and stayed in Wellington’s Karori sanctuary, Zealandia.
Sirocco or Sir-Rocco was the first kakapo to be taken from under his mother’s wing to be treated for a respiratory illness.
The kakapo is one of the rarest parrots in the world and the heaviest, and has a mating boom that can travel several kilometres.
The Sirocco Experience takes place at the Southern Enclosure, Tari Rd, Pukeatua and runs until September 26.
For booking information contact MEIT at www.mangatrust.org or phone 07 823 7455.
auction. WELCOME HOME: Sirocco arrives at Maungatautari Ecological Island Reserve.
DUNG OFFER: Kakapo faeces for