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Thanks to the efforts of more than two decades, the North Island cockatoo, one of New Zealand’s famous birds, has returned from the brink of extinction.
“Currently, about 2,000 breeding pairs of this mysterious jungle bird live across the North Island, while at the start of conservation efforts, there were only 330 of them,” New Zealand Environment Minister Kerry Allan said Friday.
Cocoa plays an important role in Maori mythology. Its special stature is thanks in part to its organ-like vocals, which are often used in movies to evoke New Zealand wildlife. A 50 dollar New Zealand banknote is also decorated with a cocoa image.
The revival of the North Island cocoa population, with distinctive blue skin under its beak, began in the late 1990s, when only a thousand specimens remained on the North Island.
The measures included resettling the birds and clearing their known natural habitats from predators.
While a true success story of North Island cocoa can be recorded, another cocoa species, South Island cocoa, has been considered a “likely extinct” species since 2013.
A few years ago, a conservation charity that established an orange bird under its beak offered thousands of New Zealand dollars in rewards to potential bird watchers. However, no one has applied for the money since then.
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