Survival of world's largest parrot threatened by bacteria to survival

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The Independent Online

An endangered species of parrot has been hit by a bacteria that has killed three young females in a population of just 86.

An endangered species of parrot has been hit by a bacteria that has killed three young females in a population of just 86.

The kakapo, the world's largest parrot, recovered from the brink of extinction two years ago after a breeding season boosted a population that had dropped to 51. The birds were infected with the erysipelas bacteria while being transferred between two islands off New Zealand.

New Zealand's Department of Conservation is optimistic that it has prevented more deaths by administering oral antibiotics. Paul Jansen, head of the kakapo team, said: "We're lucky that we only lost three."

The native kakapo, a flightless, ground-nesting parrot that weighs up to 9lb, was once widespread in New Zealand's forests.

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