Date: 30 September 2009
Ten kokako flew to the southern part of the South Island in a less than conventional manner today after boarding an Air New Zealand flight this morning in Rotorua.
Kokako are being moved from Rotoehu Forest to Secretary Island in Fiordland today as part of a major translocation operation. This project is a combined effort between the Department of Conservation, private companies and community volunteers.
The Rotoehu birds will join a number of other kokako moved to Secretary Island from Mapara, near Te Kuiti, last year and from Kaharoa, Rotorua, earlier this month.
Waiting for a trolley
Peter Corson, Biodiversity Programme Manger at Rotorua Lakes is pleased with the increase in bird numbers that make the translocation possible “The population of Kokako in the Rotoehu Forest has really flourished in recent years”.
“The effort in terms of pest control in the area during the peak breeding season has really paid dividend. We are really seeing good results with bird numbers in a short period of time”
“While DOC has been actively managing the Rotoehu block for the past couple of years it is also a popular spot for possum trapping and recreational hunting. These factors all contribute to the increase in bird population” says Peter.
The intention is to release a total of 30 birds on Secretary Island from three different North Island populations. This mix should ensure a genetically robust population is established on the island.
Two representatives from Rotoehu Iwi, Ngati Makino and Ngati Pikiao will accompany the birds at the release while being accepted onto Secretary Island by local Iwi, Ngai Tahu.
If people are interested in volunteer work on such projects please contact your local DOC office.