Family New Zealand Parrots (Strigopidae)

Critically Endangered

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila)


French: Strigops kakapo German: Kakapo Spanish: Kakapo

Strigops habroptilus

G. R. Gray

, 1845,

one of the islands of the South Pacific Ocean = Dusky Sound, South Island, New Zealand


Specific epithet originally given in masculine form, but genus formally declared to be feminine by ICZN Direction 26 of Nov 1955#R. Monotypic.


New Zealand, formerly on North I, South I and Stewart I (claimed subfossil remains from Chatham Is considered erroneous#R); persisted until 1927 on North I (Huiarau Range), until 1987 on South I (Milford District of Fiordland), and until 1997 on SE Stewart I#R. Now survives as translocated populations on Codfish I (off Stewart I), Anchor I and Chalky I (Fiordland, SW South I), and possibly still Maud I (NE South I)#R; recently reintroduced to Little Barrier I (N North I)#R.

Descriptive notes

64 cm; 950–3000 g. Green above, mottled with blackish chevrons and brownish blotches, tail patterned greenish yellow, brown and black; yellowish below, with notches and... read more


Males produce a booming sound at night which may continue for hours, a single or double low-pitched... read more


Primarily mossy Nothofagus forests, particularly where adjacent to open ground along river... read more

Food and feeding

Versatile and opportunistic vegetarians with different seasonal diets: fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, green shoots, leaf buds, roots,... read more


Dec–Feb, once as late as May. Birds form no pair-bond and males lek vocally to attract females at night, but in some years all... read more


Sedentary (flightless).

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES I. Formerly occurred throughout New Zealand's North and South Is and Stewart I from sea level to alpine regions . Its range contracted... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N., Sharpe, C.J. & Boesman, P. (2020). Kakapo (Strigops habroptila). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).