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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news