The Department of Conservation and Ngāi Tahu thank New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd (NZAS) for the company’s dedicated and long-standing support of the Kākāpō Recovery programme.
Stella the kākāpō
Image: Sabine Bernert ©
DOC Director General Lou Sanson says with NZAS’s backing over the last 25 years, Kākāpō Recovery has become a highly successful programme recognised around the world.
“In that time together we’ve more than doubled the number of kākāpō and created a much more certain future for this critically endangered taonga.”
Lou Sanson says DOC remains fully committed to the Kākāpō Recovery programme and continuing to grow and safeguard the population of this much loved bird.
“With 125 birds now on secure pest-free islands, and advances in our management of this species, the future for kākāpō is on a firm footing.”
Lou Sanson says Kākāpō Recovery work will not be affected by NZAS’s decision and DOC has made good progress on securing another long-term partner in this programme.
Forest & Bird Group Manager Kevin Hackwell also thanked NZAS for their support of the Kākāpō Recovery programme.
“They have been a key partner in helping to secure kākāpō survival and their long term support has enabled the partnership to research and develop on-the-ground techniques for the benefit of kākāpō and other recovery programmes,” says Kevin Hackwell.
The agreement with NZAS and Forest & Bird in Kākāpō Recovery was DOC’s longest running conservation partnership.
As part of the partnership Forest & Bird has administered the Kākāpō Recovery trust account so that all donations and financial contributions go direct to the programme.
DOC manages the kākāpō population on three predator-free islands—Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, Anchor Island in Fiordland and Hauturu-o-toi/Little Barrier Island near Auckland.
As a prized toanga species kākāpō have special cultural significance and importance to Ngāi Tahu.
The long term kākāpō recovery goal is to have 150 females at three separate sites, one of which is self-sustaining.
Since the start of the partnership with NZAS and Forest and Bird the kākāpō population has grown from 49 to 125 birds.
NZAS has contributed nearly $4.5 million to Kākāpō Recovery and more than 1100 days of staff volunteer support to carry out maintenance work, supplementary feeding and nest minding since 1990.
The kākāpō team are looking forward to kākāpō breeding this summer with signs of some rimu seeding on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island and also Anchor Island in Dusky Sound.