Kokako walk in the ranges on
If you’ve never heard the haunting flute-like song of the kokako, head into the Hunua Ranges tomorrow for a special kokako walk to celebrate Conservation Week.
Park ranger and walk co-ordinator Mags Ramsey says the ranges are home to the last original kokako population in the Auckland region.
“Thanks to dedicated volunteer support and targeted pest control our Hunua population is thriving and introduced populations are now flourishing on Tiritiri Matangi Island and in part of the Waitakere Ranges too,” she says.
The public is invited to come into the bush to see the kind of work volunteers do and to listen out for any kokako.
‘‘We will be walking for a few kilometres up a well-made track with plenty of steps and playing recorded kokako song to listen for responses.
‘‘We hope to also hear bellbird and kaka.’’
Phone Mags Ramsey on 536 7012 or mags. ramsey@auckland council.govt.nz to register interest and confirm walk times.
Meanwhile volunteers to help the kokako continue to prosper are required.
Ms Ramsey and pest controller David Bryden, who works fulltime on the kokako management project in the Hunua Ranges, want to hear from people keen to help with putting out bait for possums and rats.
‘‘Volunteering involves going off track to follow tiny paths through the bush along what are known as bait lines,’’ Mr Bryden says.
‘‘It’s much like going for a tramp in beautiful bush but with a special purpose and the unique possibility of seeing rare New Zealand wildlife,’’ he says.
Volunteers are needed every Tuesday, Wednesday and on the second Saturday of each month.
Tomorrow’s walk is a good opportunity to get a taste of what volunteering is like.
Anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer needs to have tramping boots to cope in the steep bush, a large day pack and a sense of adventure.
Volunteers do not need to commit to a regular weekly involvement in the programme.
Feathered friend: People are invited to go bush to see the kind of work volunteers do and listen out for kokako.