Management of the kākāpō today is being guided by the Kākāpō Recovery Plan. The current plan runs from 2006-2016, and outlines four key goals for the species.
1. Maximise recruitment in the kākāpō population.
2. Minimise the loss of genetic diversity in the kākāpō population
3. Secure, restore or maintain sufficient habitat to accommodate the expected increase in the kākāpō population.
4. Maintain public awareness and stakeholder support for kākāpō conservation.
Ultimately, the Kākāpō Recovery Plan has a vision for the species:
“To restore the mauri (life-force) of kākāpō by having at least 150 adult females.”
Today, kākāpō are being kept on three islands – Codfish Island (Whenua Hou) off Stewart Island, Anchor Island in Dusky Sound, Fiordland and Little Barrier Island (Hauturu o Toi), all of which are free of predators.
In 1998, the Department of Conservation undertook a major rat eradication project on Codfish Island (Whenua Hou) and, in 2001, completed a stoat eradication on Anchor Island. This means that both are suitable as long-term sanctuaries for kākāpō.
However, there is presently no large predator-free island capable of holding more than 100 kākāpō, where the birds might be able to look after themselves. The lack of such a sanctuary could become an obstacle if kākāpō breeding continues successfully.
So, in the future, a suitable large island needs to be selected and cleared of introduced predators.
Ultimately, a distant dream is to be able to reintroduce kākāpō to the mainland.