English wit Stephen Fry on his way to Codfish Island on
Monday to film a BBC documentary series about the kakapo.
Photo by Mark Carwardine.
On the eve of its biggest modern breeding season, the
kakapo is set to become one of the major success stories of a
documentary series looking at the world's most endangered
A four-man BBC team, including presenter Stephen Fry,
returned from Codfish Island yesterday after four eventful
nights filming the kakapo.
Fry was in Codfish Island to film the series Last Chance
to See, which revisits a book on endangered species
written by Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy author,
Douglas Adams, who died in 2001.
The book, published in 1991, was co-written by zoologist Mark
Carwardine, who has reprised his role and returned to check
on the progress on the species featured in the book.
While several of the species have become extinct, such as the
Yangtze River dolphin, the kakapo has been one of the success
stories of the series.
"To some extent, the kakapo is one of evolution's most
pitiable errors. On the other hand, there is something in
their solemn loveliness.
"When I say kakapo are "evolution's error", it's their
complex mating rituals, inability to flee predators and
general [sweet] dumbness," Fry wrote in his online blog from
Kakapo Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe said the trip
had been a successful one for the crew, who witnessed the
male kakapo "boom" - a sign the nocturnal parrot was ready to
"Mark [Carwardine] visited the island when the kakapo was on
the brink of extinction, so it is pleasing that he has
returned with numbers tracking upwards."
It was expected the critically endangered kakapo "would crack
the 100 mark for the first time since the 1980s", she said.