Graeme Elliott

Kākāpō scientist Graeme Elliott is the ‘ideas man’ of the kākāpō team.

He is responsible for clever innovations, such as the ‘Boom Box’ and parts of the ‘Nest Kit’, and for managing the various research programmes that are underway.


His aim, he says, is to put himself out of a job.

“It’s the promise of success that is most exciting. If just one of our ideas comes off, which means we can trigger breeding in kākāpō at regular intervals, then we will have put ourselves out of a job within a decade.”

“It would be good to polish off the problem by having a whole lot of extra breeding going on.”

“Even if we just manage to make the most of the existing breeding potential, through innovations like the ‘Nest Kit’, then we will still be helping to guarantee the future of the species.”

Graeme spends about 20% of his time working on the kākāpō programme, based in the Department of Conservation’s Nelson office, where he can regularly be found tinkering with high-tech electronic gadgets, processing data on his computer, or on the phone researching a new idea with fellow experts.


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