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Sanctuary for Auckland native to increase

Office of the Mayor
Media release

14 December 2010

Sanctuary for Auckland native to increase

The long term survival prospects of Auckland’s only mainland kokako population is being boosted by an Auckland Council project in the Hunua Ranges.

The project is part of the Mayor’s commitment to roll out 100 projects in the first hundred days of the Auckland Council.

The council is establishing a new area under intensive mammalian pest management to expand the current kokako safe zone by 100 hectares.

The kokako is one of New Zealand’s endangered native birds, with a total population of about 400 pairs. About 23 pairs live in the Kokako Management Area (KMA) in the Hunua Regional Park. The area was established by the former Auckland Regional Council and Department of Conservation.

“These beautiful birds are part of Auckland’s unique natural heritage and magnificent environment. We must protect and improve it,” says Len Brown.

A pair of birds has nested outside the 1200-hectare KMA. The male of the pair is one of the last original Hunua population left, and is genetically significant.

“We are increasing the area under pest management to cover the pair’s nesting area and link it to the KMA, increasing the overall size of the zone. Intensive pest control not only gives these birds the best chance to flourish, it also promotes the overall health and vitality of the forest,” says Len Brown.

Once the pest management framework is in place, the council hopes to build a network of volunteers to help maintain the project.

“Working in collaboration with the community is vital to projects like this,” says Len Brown. “Together we can work to protect our native biodiversity and our glorious regional parks, for Aucklanders and visitors to enjoy long into the future.”

A call for volunteers will be made later in 2011.


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