Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


35 Years Since Taiko Bird Re-Discovered On Chatham Islands

A press release from the Taiko Trust

35 Years Since The Extinct Taiko Bird Was Re-Discovered On The Chatham Islands

Bird experts and Chatham Islanders told David Crockett he was chasing a taipo (ghost), but the Whangarei man persisted, and 35 years ago this week, the taiko was re-discovered.

The Taiko Trust, a local conservation organisation on the Chathams, is marking the 35th anniversary of the taiko (magenta petrel or Pterodroma magentae) with a week-long series of events on the main Chatham island.

Mr Crockett and the team that made the original discovery on 1 January 1978 are returning to the Chathams, for the unveiling of a monument to the find that resurrected a species thought to be extinct. The unveiling takes place at 11am on Saturday January 26, but the events start on Wednesday January 23.

Open days are being held at the original ‘‘taiko camp’’ where volunteers working on the taiko re-discovery lived during the months they camped on the island waiting for the birds to return to breed. Other open days will be held at the new predator-free area on private land where a second breeding area is being set up. Activities will include night-time spot-lighting to watch for taiko.

Taiko Trust chairwoman Liz Tuanui said the week’s events would enable Chatham Islanders to celebrate with the original taiko team and to mark how far conservation on the islands had come.

Chatham Islanders were a key part of that, she said.

While Mr Crockett and other ornithologists had come to the islands to work on taiko, black robin, albatross and other species, the involvement of locals had been important too, she said.

About 20 people from the mainland are expected to attend the events, and interest is high locally, with about 20 per cent of the Chatham Island’s 500 population expected to be there as well.

The Taiko Trust is a partnership between local Chatham Island landowners and visiting ornithologists.

The trust works with locals to conserve native birds and bush habitats on private land, and educates young people and the community on the Chathams about conservation and the bird species on the islands.

Taiko are a night bird and live in burrows in the ground. Extremely rare, there are about 140 birds left. Taiko return to the Chatham Islands from sea late each year, and burrow underground where they nest and raise chicks.

The original birds were found on land owned by the Tuanui family, and this land has now become a significant conservation reserve.

The trust has a project where a second breeding colony is being set up on about 4 hectares of native bush on private land at Sweetwater protected by a predator fence to keep out the pests that eat the eggs and chicks.

Mrs Tuanui said that would be a turning point for the highly endangered species with a protected area being built to help the birds build up population numbers.

‘‘It’s a bit of a breakthough. It is an achievement for 10 years of slog for the trust.’’

Mrs Tuanui and her husband Bruce are significant landholders on the main Chatham Island. they have a real commitment to conservation with six convenants and seven private reserves on their land. Their commitment to conservation dates back to the late 1960s, when Mr Crockett first came to the island looking for taiko. Then only a teenager, Bruce went with him on those expeditions from the start.

At the time, Mr Crockett and his supporters were told they were chasing a taipo (ghost) not a taiko. Even respected ornithologists were telling them the same.
After the taiko was re-discovered on Tuanui land in 1978, Bruce’s parents Manuel and Evelyn Tuanui, gifted it to the Crown, a more than 1000 hectare block of bush, now known at the Tuku Reserve.

Mrs Tuanui said that while what Manuel and Evelyn did wasn’t the norm in those times, today Chatham Islanders were much more aware and proud of their conservation heritage.

‘‘It’s almost an integral part of the Chathams now. Everyone would know what a taiko was, many people were involved in the work to find them and the work to look after them now. There’s lots of community involvement.’’As well as the work with the taiko, the Taiko Trust has re-introduced Chatham Island tui to the main Chatham Island from its remnant habitat on South East Island and plans to re-introduce the Chatham Island albatross to the main Chatham Island from its remnant habitat on The Pyramid.



Attached: picture of David Crockett in 1978 with the original re-discovered taiko.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news