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Mōhua population gets a boost in the Eglinton valley

Mōhua population gets a boost in the Eglinton valley

Mōhua/yellow head in the Eglinton valley, Fiordland received a top up yesterday with the release of 80 birds transferred from Anchor Island in Dusky Sound.

The Mōhua Charitable Trust supported the transfer, working in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ōraka Aparima Rūnanga.

Lindsay Wilson, DOC Principal Ranger, said that in the early 2000s there were just 18 mōhua left in the Eglinton valley area.

“Mōhua would once have numbered in the hundreds but plummeted due to stoat and rat predation.”

“DOC now undertakes intensive pest control in the Eglinton valley to keep pest numbers low and species like mōhua alive and well.”

In 2010, 69 mōhua were moved from Chalky Island to the Eglinton valley in an effort to re-establish the species. Of these 34 birds stayed and settled in the valley, with 62 chicks fledging that year. Since then the population has remained relatively stable, with the survival of young birds staying high ( 74- 81%).

Mōhua Charitable Trust Founder Nigel Babbage said that for Eglinton valley mōhua numbers to increase further the population now needed to be supplemented.

“The Mōhua Charitable Trust sponsored the first mōhua translocation to the Eglinton valley in 2010. We are thrilled to be following this in 2015 with a population top-up.”

Intensive pest management in the Eglinton valley – a combination of traps, bait stations, and last year, aerial 1080 – has allowed the area to become a mainland stronghold for a variety of endangered native species including mōhua, long and short-tailed bats, kākā and kākāriki.

The Eglinton valley is one of the few road-accessible valleys in Fiordland National Park, and is a popular stop-off point for visitors to Milford Sound.


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