Nau mai Haere mai - more kākā at Boundary Stream
The Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project yesterday welcomed five new kākā to Boundary Stream Mainland Island, growing the introduced population to more than 26.
Department of Conservation Senior Biodiversity Ranger Denise Fastier says the reintroduction of kākā has been successful.
“This is the fourth instalment of kākā to the area, and we know it’s worked really well because at the beginning of the year we had chicks hatched to unbanded parents. That means the parents of the chicks hatched from birds that had been reintroduced. So now we’ve got at least three generations thriving in the area, which is just awesome to see.”
“Kākā were once common throughout New Zealand, but predators and loss of habitat reduced their numbers. By the time this project started they were only occasional visitors to Boundary Stream. Many years of intensive predator control - using a mix of traps and bait stations and involving arduous hours by many people - have got us to the stage of being able to reintroduce kākā and other vulnerable species to Maungaharuru. It’s great to have such a positive outcome for the enormous efforts made by many to get to this stage. If you’re one of the many people who has contributed to this, please take a bow.
“There are two remnant natural populations nearby; in the Kaweka ranges and Maungataniwha. The Cape Sanctuary began reintroducing kākā around the same time as we did. It’s hoped some of these birds might pop in for a visit, be beguiled by some of our hot new chicks, and stay to help the population grow. Or, equally, it could go the other way with the results of successful breeding of this population spreading out to the wider landscape and reinvigorating others. Eventually becoming one big happy family.”
This release follows others in 2013, 2014, and 2017 and will enable greater genetic diversity and reduce the risk of inbreeding. The five kākā were named by the community and it is thought they are all female.
Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust Kaiwahakahaere Matua, General Manager, James Lyver, says this work is a vital step on the path to restoring the area.
“Our aim is to restore the kākā population along with other manu (birds) to when there were so many that the maunga roared with the sound of birdlife. By working with DoC, the Regional Council and others, we as tangata whenua are getting closer to restoring the mauri of Maungaharuru.,” says James. He adds “It is only through strong collaborative projects like Poutiri Ao ō Tāne that this vital restoration mahi can be achieved.”
With newcomers comes the mahi of looking after them. DoC is looking for volunteers to help the rangers feed the birds daily over the next few months. This is so the birds know this is their home. If you’re interested in this they can contact the Ahuriri-Napier DoC office – DoC is happy to offer free accommodation at Boundary Stream to those wanting to help.