Rehabilitated ruru release into reserve
Rotorua Canopy Tours and Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre joined forces to release a rehabilitated ruru (morepork) into the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.
Releasing a protected, native bird back into its original habitat is a special occasion, no matter where you are in the world, said Canopy Tours sales and marketing manager Nicki Dent.
For the Canopy Tours team, alongside the crew from Wingspan, this became reality on September 28, 2017.
The ruru was a Rotorua community rescued bird. Found in the Mamaku area by locals, it was rescued in a concussed, underweight state and delivered to Wingspan for rehabilitation.
A month later, with signs of improvement and gaining weight to reach 200 grams, it was well on its way to recovery and in need of a new home. With this in mind, Wingspan looked to Canopy Tours for support.
Dent said the team were delighted to be a part of the rehoming process; having already privately released another exWingspan reconditioned ruru around this time last year into their forest.
The opportunity was the perfect testimony to their dedication, said Dent, in removing pests from the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. With confidence that at least 220 hectares are now under complete trapping control and with predator levels sitting below five per cent; both Wingspan and Canopy Tours are convinced they could not have found a safer haven.
Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre director, Debbie Stewart, said her team were thrilled with the combined community effort to help this bird return to full health and be rehomed locally.
‘‘I’m confident that the ruru has been returned back to territory that is supported by pest con- trol, and have faith that Canopy Tours conservation efforts have created a secure environment,’’ she said.
Rotorua Canopy Tours general manager, Paul Button, said it was an incredible privilege to be part of the release, we are very lucky to work with an organisation like Wingspan.
‘‘One family was lucky enough to join us for the release at the end of their tour. It would be great to share moments like that with more of our guests in the future.’’
Canopy Tours will continue their extensive conservation management in the area.