He­li­copter airlifts bell­birds to is­land

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.

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