Winged westies

Blogger: Forest & Bird’s Web Manager, Mandy Herrick

In the weekend, over 80 people braved the wild weather to welcome two endangered kokako into their new 2000 hectare home in the Waitakere ranges.

Six kokako were released into the park late last year, so this release will help boost numbers to create a self-sustaining population.

This release is part of a broader effort to re-colonise this ancient kauri-forest with the creatures that were once abundant in these parts – such as hihi, whitehead and North island robins.

Kokako were last seen in the Waitakeres in the 1960s – but were wiped out locally due to predation. Their numbers are woefully low (read: 750), but the Department of Conservation is hoping to have 1000 breeding pairs by 2020.

The newcomers, which come from Tiritiri Matangi, are expected to fit in well with the kokako already at the Ark – despite differences in song dialects.

In this video, I spoke to one of the pint-sized volunteers and recorded the release of these blue wattled crows into their new homeland – a momentous occasion indeed!

To see a longer version of this video, see here

*The Ark in the Park project is a partnership between the ARC and the Waitakere branch of Forest & Bird. To find out more about this project see here.

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