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Endangered Species 1

Rarotonga Flycatcher - Kakerori
the Rarotonga Flycatcher – Kakerori

The Rarotongan Flycatcher – The KAKERORI.

The Cook Islands Biodiversity Database notes that the single “Critically Endangered” species, and now the most well known Cook Islands bird, is the Rarotonga Flycatcher (Kākerōri), or Rarotonga Monarch. In 1885 a naturalist recorded that the flycatcher, which had formerly been abundant everywhere on the island, had undergone a serious decline and was almost extinct. Nearly a hundred years later, in the first national bird survey of 1972, British ornithologist David Holyoak saw two, heard three, and estimated the population at one or two dozen pairs. As a result of the dedicated efforts, notably by a member of the Cook Islands Conservation Service, Ed Saul, the number of Kākerōri rose from the low of 29 initiating his first season to more than 132 at the start of the 1996 breeding season.

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