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500th Kākāriki Banded!

500th Kākāriki Banded!

500th kākāriki chick held by volunteer Natalie Morrison. Photo Credit: Richard Gray

Wellington, NZ – In just five years, kākāriki translocated to ZEALANDIA have reached the milestone 500th banding. Kākāriki are banded with small rings on their legs that give a unique colour combination for research and monitoring purposes.

Their parrot cousins kākā took nearer a decade to reach the 500 banding mark, with the 600th kākā being banded last year.

The first release of a founding population of kākāriki from Kapiti Island took place in 2010. The distinctive and chatty bright green, red headed kākāriki quickly established themselves in the mainland sanctuary and are now seen around Wellington.

We believe that kākāriki occasionally fly into Wellington from nearby Matiu/Somes Island but most seen in Wellington will have originated at ZEALANDIA. Most ZEALANDIA-hatched kākāriki are banded, with this season’s chicks having one large bright orange band on one leg and two smaller coloured bands on the other leg that identify them individually.

The kākāriki breeding season continues – so far more than 170 chicks have been banded this season, up from last year’s total of 153, and there are more to come.

The kākāriki’s breeding success is due to the diverse habitat with plentiful food and a safe environment within the perimeter fence. Careful monitoring by Conservation Ranger Richard Gray and his team of hardy volunteers, and the support of main sponsor W. N. Pharazyn Trust have enabled us to document how well the kākāriki have done since release.

ZEALANDIA is very keen to hear about any observations of kākāriki in the Wellington area, especially banded ones, and encourages residents to report sightings on the Zealandia website www.visitzealandia.com/contact-us/report-a-bird/ or the Nature watch website http://naturewatch.org.nz/


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