Parrot Society of New Zealand

Parrot Society Convention 2018

 Dr Andrew Digby (NZ)


Dr Andrew Digby is the Science Advisor for Kākāpō and Takahē with the New Zealand Department of Conservation. He is responsible for providing scientific advice to direct conservation efforts for both of these endangered species. This involves reviewing research, organising field trials and data collection, analysing data, and collaborating with the many external international experts who assist with the recovery programmes. Andrew has a PhD in Conservation Biology from Victoria University of Wellington, focussing on kiwi behaviour and conservation. He had an earlier career as a research astronomer, with a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh, and a postdoctoral fellowship with NASA in New York conducting exoplanet research.

The kākāpō: conservation science in action

The kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus) is the world's heaviest and only flightless parrot. Four decades of conservation effort has seen the species bounce back from the brink of extinction, with the population tripling from a low of 51 birds in 1995 to 152 today. However, kākāpō are still critically endangered, and face threats from inbreeding, disease and low fertility.

Dr Andrew Digby from the Department of Conservation Kākāpō Recovery Programme will highlight the ground-breaking conservation and management behind the recovery of the species, including advances in genetics, artificial insemination, nutrition and technology. He will describe the challenges for the future of kakapo, and the innovative and collaborative methods used to find solutions to them.

We here at the Parrot Society of New Zealand are so incredibly greatful for the time that Dr Digby is sharing with us and sharing updated information and strategies to secure the future of this fascinating parrot.


Andrew is sponsored by Chook Manor and will be speaking on the following subject:

Kakapo Recovery Programme