Tuesday, 8 September 2009, 2:49 pm Press Release: Auckland Regional Council
8 September 2009
Rare kokako to sing in the Waitakere Ranges once again
The haunting melody of the endangered kokako is returning to the Waitakere Ranges after an absence of more than 60 years.
Intensive pest control efforts by the Ark in the Park project has resulted in the planned release of up to 30 kokako birds into the ranges over the next two years, beginning with the first transfer of birds on Tuesday 8 September 2009.
These kokako are being transferred to the Waitakere Ranges from the Mangatutu and Waipapa Ecological Areas of the Pureora Forest in the central North Island with the aim of creating a new self-sustaining kokako population at this large new site.
oil painting of South island Tomtit by Peter Jean Caley
Stewart Island interests are considering an ambitious $35 million proposal to eradicate rats, wild cats and possums from the island.
The proposal has initial support from parts of the community but is likely to be vehemently opposed by deer hunters. It includes a predator fence around the settlement of Oban and plans for widespread aerial poison drops.
Described as New Zealand’s biggest conservation project, it aims to “make Stewart Island the Galapagos of the South”.
Copies of the proposal have been given to community groups and key “stakeholders” before a public meeting on April 3.
The “draft feasibility study” has been prepared by the Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust, with support from the Department of Conservation and the Tindall Foundation.
Proposed “border control” measures could include teams of rodent-checking dogs monitoring departures from Bluff and Invercargill and arrivals on the island.
It is hoped bird species such as kakapo, saddleback, mohua, kokako and teal may eventually be reintroduced to Stewart Island.