Helicopter airlifts bellbirds to island
Sixty bellbirds have been flown by helicopter to Mana Island to supplement 43 birds released there two years ago.
The transfer from Kapiti Island followed months of planning and was the culmination of a partnership between the Friends of Mana Island (FOMI) and the Department of Conservation (DOC). Most translocations need a second follow-up release to rebalance the ratios of male and female birds, and this transfer was no different.
FOMI project manager Jason Christensen was delighted with the response from volunteers and commended the organisation by Melody McLaughlin and the DOC team in cap- turing the birds on Kapiti and the release and monitoring of their progress over the next few days on Mana Island.
FOMI president Brian Paget said it was satisfying to see the restoration plan implemented. He said special thanks for this release should go to The Community Trust of Wellington, who sponsored the programme.
DOC programme manager Peter Simpson said he was pleased FOMI and their supporters had undertaken this second phase of the bellbird transfers, which was in line with the restoration plan of establishing a selfsustaining forest and bird population on Mana Island.