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Books about the Kakapo

This page lists books that are totally or partially about the Kakapo. The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.

For general books about Parrots see:


Strigops habroptila


Kakapo: Rescued from the Brink of Extinction

Alison Ballance

Craig Potton Publishing


"The kakapo is one of New Zealand's most charismatic yet mysterious birds. It is also one of the world's most threatened species and a New Zealand conservation success story. An ancient, flightless, nocturnal, herbivorous giant parrot, the kakapo was once numerous throughout the country but is now extinct in its natural range. At its low point, the population was reduced to as few as 40 known individuals, but thanks to the hard work and innovation of the Kakapo Recovery Programme, New Zealand's flagship threatened-species conservation programme, the kakapo population now exceeds 120. Despite this exciting turnaround, there has not been a significant book on the kakapo since 1989. The story of this remarkable bird embraces science, conservation, ingenuity and personal dedication. Through an informative and entertaining mix of hard facts, history, and accounts of the daily and seasonal routines of kakapo and their minders, Alison Ballance brings together these threads to describe the natural history of the bird and tell the inspiring story of the Kakapo Recovery Programme."

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Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


"On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last ninety-one kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds - the largest and most unusual parrots on earth - have suffered devastating population loss. Now, on an island refuge with the last of the species, New Zealand's National Kakapo Recovery Team is working to restore the kakapo population. With the help of fourteen humans who share a single hut and a passion for saving these odd ground-dwelling birds, the kakapo are making a comeback in New Zealand. Follow intrepid animal lovers Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop on a ten-day excursion to witness the exciting events in the life of the kakapo."

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A Celebration Of Kakapo

Editor: Murray Williams

Ornithological Society of New Zealand


A special edition of the journal Notornis (Vol 53, part 1) dedicated to the Kakapo.

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The Kakapo

Jenny Jones



"This new natural history series for children introduces interesting birds in New Zealand that children are interested in, and in most cases, will often see. Kakapo will tell you everything you could ever wish to know. The book contains information about breeding, living spaces, unique features, conservation, history and scientific classifications."

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Hoki: The story of a Kakapo

Gideon Climo



"Finalist in the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 1998. The flightless kakapo is the world's heaviest parrot, a unique bird but seriously endangered. Hoki, the story of a Kakapo tells the life of the only female born between 1986 and 1996, from her rescue as a tiny, starving chick on remote Codfish Island to her release into the wild. It is a portrait of a highly intelligent and entertaining bird with a vital role in ensuring the survival of the species."

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Quest for the Kakapo

David Butler

Foreword: Gerld Durrell

Heinemann Reed


"This strange and moving story documents the dedicated work of Wildlife Service Staff and other naturalists in the long running battle to save the Kakapo spanning 3 decades."

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Kakapo Country: The Story Of The World's Most Unusual Bird

David Cemmick & Dick Veitch

Foreword: David Bellamy

Hodder and Stoughton


Includes 60 colour illustrations.

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Hugh Best & Ralph Powlesland

Endangered New Zealand Wildlife Series

John McIndoe Limited in association with the New Zealand Wildlife Services


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Last updated September 2011