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Thu Jun 13, 2019, 04:07 AM

Parrot world's endangered heavyweight faces new threat

JUNE 13, 2019

Parrot world's endangered heavyweight faces new threat

The setback comes just weeks after scientists hailed a bumper breeding season for the flightless, nocturnal bird, which was once thought to be extinct

An unprecedented disease outbreak has pushed the critically endangered kakapo, the world's fattest parrot, closer to extinction, New Zealand scientists said Thursday.

One of the last kakapo populations on remote Codfish Island has been hit with a fungal respiratory disease called aspergillosis, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said.

It said 36 of the parrots were receiving treatment and seven had died, including two adults—a huge loss for a species which has less than 150 fully grown birds left.

"Aspergillosis is having a devastating impact on kakapo," the DOC said in a statement Thursday.


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