The kakapo has won the annual New Zealand Bird of the Year competition in 2008 and 2020. Never before had a bird won the election twice.
New Zealanders will be able to vote for their favorite bird for the 17th time from next week. But the kakapo is absent from the electoral lists, which according to The Guardian aroused amazement on social networks.
Not banned for life
A spokesman for the organization that organizes the election explains to the British newspaper that the kakapo is not banned for life, but is temporarily ineligible.
“If the same bird wins every year, it may not be such an interesting election anymore,” said the spokesman, who stressed that the election remained “completely democratic.”
The 2020 election drew a lot of attention when it was revealed that 1500 votes had been cast fraudulently in an attempt to help the little gray kiwi to a victory. A year earlier, hundreds of votes from Russia raised questions about foreign interference in the election.
Less flashy winner
The kakapo is in danger of extinction. In the 1990s, only 50 specimens lived in the wild. Today, the population has grown to 252 individuals. The bird is only found in New Zealand. It is the heaviest and oldest species of parrot.
The organization hopes a “less flashy and less noisy” bird will win the election this time around. For example, you can vote for a gray duck.
The election was created once to create more nature awareness.
Bat as Bird of the Year
Last year, the organization allowed a native bat to participate in the election for the first time. This one finally took off with the title of bird of the year. At the end of this month it will be announced which bird will win this year.
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