Kokako walk in the ranges on

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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