8 Good Environmental News Stories You Might Have Missed
A Wildlife Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM John R. Platt, The Revelator
October 2021

A few good-news items you may have missed. These aren’t necessarily resounding successes — we still have a long way to go on all fronts — but they illustrate that hard work and persistence can pull us back from the brink just as greed and indifference can push us toward it.

Sirocco, the world-famous kākāpō. Photo: Chris Birmingham/New Zealand Department of Conservation (CC BY 2.0)

Kākāpō Code: In good news for one of the world’s rarest parrots (and one of my favorite species), new research finds that the last 201 kākāpō (Strigops habroptila) remain genetically healthy despite centuries of inbreeding.

All of today’s remaining kākāpō have descended from just 50 birds rescued from extinction in 1995 and placed into a conservation breeding program, but the inbreeding started long before that — as much as 10,000 years ago, due to the island-loving, flightless birds’ extreme isolation.

This inbreeding, as odd as it may seem, could be one reason why the species has survived: It’s basically already bred mutations out of the system.

The other reason kākāpō have survived? People. Not only do the birds have a dedicated crew of New Zealand conservationists working to help them, they’re also beloved by the general public. This genetic work got its start with a crowdfunding campaign back in 2016, when there were only 125 kākāpō alive. The fact that the population has grown so much in the past five years while we continued to expand our conservation knowledge is a testament to both these groups.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE (PDF) 

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