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Forest & Bird launches nationwide kereru count

Sunday 19 February 2012

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Forest & Bird launches nationwide kereru count today

Forest & Bird today launches a nationwide survey of kereru. The inaugural Kereru Count allows the public to contribute to the national scientific study by recording sightings of kereru (New Zealand wood pigeon) from February 19 to 27 on

Kereru Count Project Co-ordinator Jenny Lynch says the survey will be used to help boost the declining kereru population and preserve the biodiversity of our forests.

The results will provide valuable information about the distribution of our only native pigeon.

“With that data, we have the potential to link neighbourhoods where kereru are found with existing restoration projects in the area. The projects can help increase numbers of kereru through targeted predator control and planting food plants for kereru,” Jenny Lynch says.

Predation and habitat destruction have caused kereru numbers to decrease in recent years. But Jenny Lynch says their survival is critical to maintaining the biodiversity of our forests.

“They’re the only bird that can spread the fruit of larger native trees like tawa, karaka and taraire. Without kereru, those trees won’t be able to disperse seeds throughout the forest, and so the biodiversity of forests and even urban areas will decline.”

Kereru can be found throughout New Zealand, including forests, parks, reserves and urban areas.

The public are asked to record on the Kereru Count website the location, the number spotted, whether the kereru was feeding, and if possible what type of plant it was feeding on.

The Kereru Count is a fantastic way for children to interact with nature, though New Zealanders of all ages are encouraged to record sightings.


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