Felix is one of the reigning studs of the kākāpō population.

He mated about eight times during the summers of 1997 and 1999, and fathered six chicks – Tiwai, Sirocco, Manu, Boomer Morehu and Trevor – in the process. Then, in the 2002 season, he mated a further five females and fathered Hine Taumai, Aparima, Tumeke and Aurora (who died in 2004). He is also the father of Hoki. His ten living offspring comprise 28% of the new kākāpō generation.

No-one is quite sure why Felix is such a hit with the females. He is a healthy bird, but is not particularly large. Staff think that perhaps he is a dominating bird in the lek arena or a very good boomer, which makes him attractive to females. However, as prolific as his breeding success has been, staff can’t afford for his genes to dominate the next generation, or worse inbreeding problems may occur. Presently he lives on Codfish Island.

Felix was found on Stewart Island in 1989. Staff called him Felix, after a brand of cat food, because they joked that if they had not found him, he would have ended up as just that – cat food.


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