13 July 2009
Continued success in the protection of a rare native bird species is being recorded in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park.
With around 750 pairs of kokako left in the North Island, the number of breeding pairs and young produced in the Hunua Ranges Kokako Management Area (KMA) has the potential to make a significant contribution to the future security of the species.
In 2008/09 the Hunua kokako project, managed jointly by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and Department of Conservation (DOC), reported 18 breeding pairs established in the managed area. Since management of the population began 15 years ago at least 58 young are known to have been produced.
“In 1994 the ARC stepped in to save a tiny population of kokako rapidly heading toward local extinction. This was outside the normal duties of a local body, however had we not intervened, this population would have become locally extinct.
“At the time there was only one breeding pair surviving in the Hunua Ranges,” says ARC Chairman Mike Lee.
“This partnership between the ARC and DOC is a vital effort in saving this treasured species from the threat of extinction – a reality for the South Island kokako, which is now assumed to be extinct.