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10 Years of Hihi in mainland New Zealand

10 Years of Hihi in mainland New Zealand

Wellington, NZ – This February marks the 10-year anniversary of the Hihi (Stitchbird) being reintroduced into mainland New Zealand. Hihi were extinct from the wild for 120 years until 2005 when 60 Hihi were transferred from Tiritiri Matangi Island to ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary (then called Karori Wildlife Sanctuary).

Hihi were once common throughout the North Island, Great Barrier, Hauturu (Little Barrier Island), Kapiti and possibly other northern islands, however had become extinct in mainland New Zealand and most offshore islands by 1883, surviving only on Hauturu.

Today the population of Hihi at ZEALANDIA exceeds 100 adult birds with over 100 fledglings produced last season. While this thriving population is a sign of success for the project, dispersal over the ZEALANDIA fence still remains a risk, with Hihi extremely vulnerable to introduced pests such as rats, stoats, and cats.


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