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Kaka monitoring program ends at Zealandia

MEDIA RELEASE – For Immediate Release
14 April 2016

Kaka monitoring program ends at Zealandia

Wellington, NZ – Zealandia's kaka banding and nestbox monitoring program has come to an end after nearly 15 years and thousands of hours of volunteer work. The last two kaka chicks were banded early April, and are expected to fledge soon.

Kaka were reintroduced into Zealandia in 2002, and have been one of the Wellington ecosanctuary's success stories. Six were released in 2002, with another eight captive-reared birds released over subsequent years. Since then, over 750 of the native bush parrots have been banded.

"It's the end of an era, the species no longer needs to be intensely monitored so it's job done in that respect," said Conservation Lead Ranger Matu Booth, "but at the same time we'll be continuing to refresh the nestboxes they use each season and keep an eye on the overall population health."

The monitoring program has produced interesting scientific insights into the Wellington population and supported the work of external researchers. One recent piece of research has been a study into the presence of lead in our urban population of kaka and how that affects their survival rate.

There are 36 nestboxes that will continue to be maintained throughout the sanctuary, but they will no longer be monitored twice a week. The presence of banded birds within the population will continue to generate valuable data but over time the sight of unbanded kaka will become the norm.


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