New Zealand’s bird of the year? Favorite kakapo is not allowed to participate

New Zealand's bird of the year?  Favorite kakapo is not allowed to participate

The kakapo won the 2008 and 2020 New Zealand annual bird competition. Not a single bird has ever won an election twice.

New Zealanders will be able to vote for their favorite bird for the 17th time starting next week. But kakapo is missing from the voting rolls, which, according to The Guardian, is raising eyebrows on social media.

It is not forbidden for life

A spokesperson for the organization that organizes the elections explains to the British newspaper that kakapo is not banned for life, but is temporarily ineligible.

“If the same bird wins every year, this election may not be that interesting anymore,” the spokesperson said, stressing that the elections remain “completely democratic.”

The 2020 election attracted a lot of attention when it was revealed that 1,500 votes had been rigged in an effort to help the little gray kiwi win. A year ago, hundreds of votes from Russia raised questions about foreign interference in the elections.

Less Glamorous Winner

kakapo is in danger of extinction. In the 1990s, only 50 specimens lived in the wild. Today, the population has increased to 252 individuals. The bird is found only in New Zealand. It is the heaviest and longest-lived parrot species.

The organization hopes that a “less flashy and boisterous” bird will win the election this time around. For example, you can vote for the gray duck.

Elections were once created to create more awareness of nature.

Bats are like birds of the year

Last year, the organization allowed an indigenous bat to participate in elections for the first time. This eventually flew with the title bird of the year. At the end of this month it will be announced which bird will win this year.

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