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20 years of kōkako recovery celebrated in the Hunua Ranges

Media release

10 April 2014

20 years of kōkako recovery celebrated in the Hunua Ranges

Last weekend saw the celebration of twenty years of successful conservation efforts to ensure the survival and growth of our native kōkako in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park.

At the event on Saturday, held at Piggots Campground at the Upper Mangatawhiri Dam, new interpretative signage was unveiled, acknowledging support from councillors and board members Mike Lee, Bill Cashmore and Jill Naysmith.

Volunteers were thanked for their on-going contribution. Each year, volunteers contribute more than 1,600 hours of time to help with extensive pest control of 1,100 hectares.

Volunteer coordinator Dave Bryden said: “Helping save an at-risk native species is really exciting, particularly when we find new nests.”

The Kōkako Recovery Project was instigated in 1994 when there was only one remaining breeding pair in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park. Twenty years on, with pest control, innovative translocations and a successful egg swap, there are now thirty breeding pairs, well on the way to the target of 50 breeding pairs by 2020.

“If you live in Auckland and haven’t been out to the Hunua Ranges, now is a great time to come and visit. There are lots of great walks and you might even get to see a kōkako or two when you’re looking up at the tree tops,” says Dave.

“A local resident kōkako even attended the sign unveiling, and hung around long enough to check out the kōkako-shaped cake made by volunteer Mary Whitehouse! This is a good indication the kōkako population in the Hunua Ranges is thriving.”

When visiting the Hunua Ranges, it’s important to remember to help stop the spread of kauri dieback disease by keeping to tracks and cleaning shoes and equipment before and after visiting. Report any sightings of dead or dying kauri to 0800 NZ KAURI (0800 695 2874).

Ends

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