Project re­turns na­tive para­keet to North­land

Northern News - - LOCALJOBS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Kakariki, a na­tive para­keet, have been re­leased into the Bay of Is­lands after a 30-year ab­sence.

Project Is­land Song - a part­ner­ship be­tween the Guardians of the Bay of Is­lands, Te Rawhiti hapu and the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion - saw the re­lease of 40 birds onto Mo­tu­rua Is­land ear­lier this month. The en­dan­gered birds were caught on Hau­turu (Lit­tle Bar­rier Is­land) be­fore be­ing flown north by he­li­copter.

Rats, stoats, weasels and feral cats caused the birds to be­come ex­tinct from main­land North­land in the mid 1980’s. Project Is­land Song’s most am­bi­tious project yet hopes to see kakariki re­turn to the main­land even­tu­ally.

‘‘We want North­landers and the many tourists and trav­ellers who visit the re­gion to be able to see th­ese beau­ti­ful green birds in the wild, and in our back­yard,’’ says Project Is­land co-or­di­na­tor Richard Rob­bins.

‘‘There’s no guar­an­tee the birds will stay on Mo­tu­rua Is­land once there are re­leased. So this project is risky but there’s also a huge op­por­tu­nity to progress to­wards a more eco­log­i­cal main­land where pest con­trol is main­tained and an en­vi­ron­ment where kakariki could thrive.’’

Kakariki have been re­leased into the Bay of Is­lands, after a 30-year ab­sence.

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