Kokako cry silenced in Taranaki’s Moki forest
The mournful cry of kokako has gone from Taranaki’s Moki Forest with the capture last week of the last known bird.
Bachelor boy or “big boy” as he’s now been dubbed, was caught by department of Conservation staff and transferred to Mt Bruce avery, a conservation area in the Wairarapa.
Tamanui tipped the scales at a healthy 275 grams, and along with one other bird becomes the heaviest kokako ever caught in the wild.
New Plymouth DoC ranger Bryan Williams is hopeful that Tamanui will take a fancy to his new mate and begin breeding.
At the moment his new mate is behind bars in the cage next door to Tamanui, but already she’s started calling to him. If all goes to plan, once Tamanui is out of quarantine, they’ll be given the opportunity to begin dating.
The female kokako is a proven breeder, with a dozen of her chicks on Auckland’s Tiritirimatengi Island. This is where the offspring of Tamanui’s will also end up.
Mr Williams says if Tamanui breeds he’ll be making a valuable contribution to the kokako gene pool and help preserve the uniqueness of the Taranaki birds, which are the most southerly population of kokako.
In the meantime DoC will continue to look for any further kokako. Reports indicate there may still be birds in the Waitaanga Saddle area, and possibly in the Makino Forest.