UnNews:Delicious New Zealand bird set for extinction by 2023
11 January 2013
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A delicious new delicacy has been appearing on the plates of many New Zealanders this week: the endangered Malherbe’s parakeet. Many have praised the subtle culinary qualities of the bird, its unique flavor being described as something of a cross between a partridge and an orgasm.
Jared, whose team is in charge of monitoring populations of birds in many of New Zealand's largest national parks, began consuming the species after some of his colleagues accidentally caught a few dozen in their Kakapo nets last November. The Kakapo-Parakeet stew that the scientists feasted on later that night was "to die for".
Though the bird has been on endangered species lists for a number of decades now, spawning a decrease in hunting over the years, word of mouth has prompted ever more locals to rediscover its flavor.
"We thought it would taste like shit because it's on the endangered list and all, but really it's fantastic," said Bill from Blenheim, a new-found Malherbe enthusiast and hunter. "Their eyes are especially delicious, but then so are their organs, and their little crunchy birdy feet. Looks like those scientists got it completely wrong on this one."
Some are starting to say that the unctuous flavor alone is not to blame. A number of chefs have credited channels such as the Food Network along with popular shows such as Poacher's Kitchen for creating a foodie culture in which people are encouraged to try dishes they would not normally try. Statements from locals have supported this.
"Ten years ago I would've maybe eaten a Kiwi or two, maybe swerved off to the side of the road and smushed a few turtles for lunch but never a Malherbe’s parakeet. I would've thought you were joking," said 52-year-old Janet Bing, who eats food.
The positive feedback from these self-proclaimed foodies has spurred a hectic response on the part of environmentalists. Increased conservation efforts on Maud Island, for example, have seen a spike in successful breeding, increasing parakeet numbers to roughly 430. The population should be ready for harvesting by April of this year.
Hunting permits for the critters will be available to people of all nationalities by January 12th for a discounted fee in celebration of New Zealand's Sesquicentidecennial. Prime minister John Key has stated that hunting beyond legal limits should be "totally fine" with him, and has encouraged his citizens to "get it while supplies last!".
- John R. Platt "Critically Endangered Parakeet Population Grows on Predator-Free Island Reserve". Scientific American, January 10, 2013