Project returns native parakeet to Northland
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.