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

 

Giant kokopu hotspot discovered on Waiheke Island

Giant kokopu hotspot discovered on Waiheke Island

An “incredibly exciting” find of a new population of native giant kokopu has been made on Waiheke Island.

A freshwater ecologist for Auckland Council’s biodiversity team, Matthew Bloxham, had a hunch a stream at the eastern end of Waiheke had the qualities giant kokopu need to call a place home.

Teams had already searched 25 streams on the Auckland mainland where sightings of giant kokopu had been recorded. Two surveys in 2014 and 2018 turned up no signs of the threatened native fish.

Then 25 giant kokopu were found in the Waiheke stream a few months ago. A further six of the fish, which can grow up to 45cm long, were found in a different part of the stream a few weeks later.

“That’s really big news for us,” says Mr Bloxham.

“Nationally they are listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species, but we have to try even harder to sustain them in Auckland, given we’re at the upper limit of their distribution.”

A stream at Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke has lost all its giant kokopu, but another island stream at Awaawaroa still has a population of 10 to 20 of the native fish.

Extremely small numbers of giant kokopu have been found in a handful of other new sites in Auckland recently, including two at a stream in Whatipu.

The council biodiversity team is now focussing on Waiheke as the main giant kokopu stronghold in the Auckland region, says Mr Bloxham.

“The mainland populations are generally all failing – they’re functionally extinct. So we’re putting most of our efforts into giant kokopu recovery on Waiheke, because we think it holds the greatest promise.”

That means tackling the pressures that have driven many populations of the fish to extinction – development, habitat loss, sedimentation, predators, and a lack of logs to hide under.

The team plans to reintroduce giant kokopu at Whakanewha and to potentially boost numbers in the other Waiheke streams once the habitats are improved.

Giant kokopu are being bred in captivity by Manaki Whitebait in Warkworth and fish from the hatchery will be released on Waiheke over the next few years. In July, shortjaw kokopu were bred in captivity for the first time and these will also be released into Watercare dams in the Waitakere and Hunua ranges over the next few years.

The council team is working with Waiheke Forest & Bird members to improve pest management around the Waiheke streams where giant kokopu have been found.

“The eggs are like caviar to many animals – mice, rats, hedgehogs, everything eats them."

Giant kokopu gather to spawn in stream-side vegetation during floods, then must wait for another flood to wash the eggs into the stream. The larvae are carried downstream to the sea, where they are “nailed by all the things out in the briny”. Only a small number make it back into the same stream to replenish adult populations.

Sediment and flooding are other serious pressures on native fish.

Tree planting along stream edges is being carried out to act as a buffer.

Conservation New Zealand, local Forest & Bird branch members and the island community have been helping plant trees around Awaawaroa stream.

Mr Bloxham will give a talk about shortjaw and giant kokopu at Waiheke Sustainability Centre in Oneroa on August 9 at 6pm.

Planting days to support the giant kokopu project will be held at Awaawaroa on August 11 and 25 at 10am.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels