Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Rare parakeets flown to safe island home

19 March 2014

Rare parakeets flown to safe island home

Eighteen rare native parakeets are today winging their way from Christchurch to a Bay of Plenty island sanctuary to build a self-supporting population there as this species faces the ongoing threat of predators in Canterbury.

The kākāriki karaka/orange-fronted parakeets bred by the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust at Peacock Springs will be released on Tūhua/Mayor Island—ancestral home of Te Whānau Ā Tauwhao ki Tūhua. The Tūhua Trust Board worked with DOC to make Tūhua predator-free in 2002.

Meanwhile, the mainland population of this critically endangered parakeet—found only in three alpine valleys—seems to be benefiting from beech seeding but is at risk from a predicted plague of rats and stoats later in the year.

DOC ranger Simon Elkington says that they are monitoring nine parakeet nests in the Hawdon and Poulter valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park compared to seven for this time last year.

“After a slow start nesting is looking good this year due in part to more food being available to the birds from the beech seed.”

Results from DOC’s seed-shooting work in the Hawdon valley last month and other observations point to a beech mast (seeding) this year, he says.

DOC will measure the amounts of beech seed produced as it falls off the trees over the next couple of months, to gauge the quantity of food for rodents.

Rat and mice levels in the valleys are at present at low levels but are expected to start ramping up in late autumn as the seed falls from the trees.

Predator levels will be monitored to determine whether a pest control response is required later in the year as part of DOC’s Battle for our Birds programme.

The captive breeding programme at Peacock Springs is a crucial part of conserving orange-fronted parakeets, which number between 200 and 400 in the wild. Birds bred at the centre supply ‘insurance’ populations on four predator-free islands.

The birds are being flown to Tauranga courtesy of Air New Zealand, as part of its partnership with DOC, and Fauna Recovery New Zealand has provided the helicopter to fly the birds from Rotorua Airport to Tūhua. Te Whānau Ā Tauwhao ki Tūhua will receive the birds on Tūhua as owners of the island.

Background information
Orange-fronted parakeet is one of our rarest parakeet/kākāriki species and nationally endangered.

Once common throughout New Zealand, it now survives in just three beech-clad valleys on mainland New Zealand—the Hawdon and Poulter valleys in Arthur’s Pass National Park and the South Branch of the Hurunui in Lake Sumner Forest Park.

Stoats and rats pose the greatest threat to these remaining small populations. Parakeets nest in tree holes and the eggs, chicks and sitting adults are easy prey for these tree-climbing predators.

DOC manages the risks to the parakeets by intensively monitoring predator densities in all three valleys and undertaking pest control using a combination of traps and aerial 1080 when necessary.

A beech mast 14 years ago drove rat and stoat levels to plague proportions and decimated the South Island populations of orange-fronted parakeet.

‘Insurance’ populations of this species have been established on four predator-free islands: Chalky Island in Fiordland, Blumine and Maud islands in the Marlborough Sounds and Tūhua in the Western Bay of Plenty, off Tauranga.

The parakeets were first moved to Tūhua in 2009 and are doing well on the island.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news