Help Save the Kākāpō

With only 210 kākāpō in the world today, this treasured bird urgently needs our help

Kiwi company Mother Earth is calling on New Zealanders to help create a new home for the critically endangered kākāpō.

A new initiative by the Waikato-based brand is raising funds to help bring the iconic bird to a mainland sanctuary for the first time ever – a significant step in growing the population. The funds will help create and trial a safe habitat for kākāpō in Mother Earth’s home of the Waikato, at ecological reserve Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.

Mother Earth is releasing limited-edition packaging featuring the loveable and cheeky bird. For every limited-edition pack of Mother Earth Baked Oaty Slices and honey purchased, Mother Earth will donate 10 cents to Sanctuary Mountain.

“Kākāpō are under threat of extinction, and Mother Earth is committed to helping this native bird thrive. We are calling on Kiwis to help save the kākāpō by purchasing the limited-edition packs, so we can support our friends at Sanctuary Mountain to create a secure home for these taonga,” says Mother Earth CEO Andrew Smith.

“As a New Zealand company, nurturing Kiwi families, looking after communities and protecting the environment is important to us. We are committed to protecting native flora and fauna so we can all enjoy it now and into the future,” said Smith.

Kākāpō currently survive on small offshore islands of New Zealand. While this flightless parrot is critically endangered, the increasing population of kākāpō is outgrowing its island refuges resulting in an urgent need for more suitable habitat like Sanctuary Mountain.

Sanctuary Mountain is working with many key stakeholders including the Department of Conservation’s Kākāpō Recovery Group and Ngāi Tahu, to bring Kākāpō to its world-class ecological sanctuary. Money raised by this Mother Earth initiative will be used to help ensure the site is suitable for kākāpō and that they have everything they need when they arrive at the maunga, including a ranger to take special care of them.

Phil Lyons, Sanctuary Mountain CEO, said the maunga is an ideal sanctuary for the kākāpō. It covers 3400-hectares of native bush and is protected by a 47km pest-proof fence, making it largely free of mammals that could threaten the kākāpō.

“With help from Mother Earth, we can work to create a safe home for kākāpō to thrive for years to come,” said Lyons.

While the initial step would be to trial the site with a small number of male kākāpō, the vision is that the sanctuary may be home to breeding birds in the future.

Sanctuary Mountain already offers a safe haven for many of New Zealand’s most endangered species, including kiwi, takahē and tuatara.

This project is part of ongoing support of Sanctuary Mountain by Mother Earth, a proud partner of the conservation education programme that Sanctuary Mountain provides to over 4,500 students and teachers every year.

Limited-edition Mother Earth Baked Oaty Slices and honey products are available in selected supermarkets nationwide from July 13. Keep an eye out for the cheeky kākāpō on shelf.