Cook Islands: Atiu – rare birds

Atiu has several species of birds that are among the rarest birds on Earth (it also has more species of birds then all the other Cook Islands combined). Sometimes, Atiu is refereed to as “bird island”. First, there is the colorful Kura (Rumatara Lorikeet), which was at one point reduced to only 20 birds worldwide but now numbers in 100s. Then there is the Kakerori (Raratonga Flycatcher) that almost nearly hit extinction but not steadily climbs in numbers on Atiu. There are also several species of rare pigeons. And finally there’s the Kopeka (Atiu Swiftlet), that lives on Atiu and nowhere else on Earth – subject of the next post.