When you’re a kākāpō ranger, it’s definitely a case of sacrifice for your job. For a month at a time you work, eat and sleep on the islands that kākāpō inhabit, so there is no chance of returning home to family or a social life at the end of a day.
But with three kākāpō rangers in this situation – dedicated to their job and life on an island – there are never any complaints; it’s a way of life, and it’s great.
Kākāpō rangers undertake all the field work for Kākāpō Recovery; actually doing the physical work on the islands to implement monitoring and management objectives. Performing radio-telemetry searches to locate and monitor birds is a huge component of their work; and they also get to catch birds annually to replace the radio-transmitters.
In summer they manage the supplementary feed regime. Rainy day jobs include database management and reporting,and hut/facility maintenance. All of this means: long hours in rain, wind and sun; work at night and working in demanding terrain where good fitness is a must-have.
The volunteers that give their time to help during summer months are supervised by the kākāpō rangers.