Have you seen a kereru¯ ?
Taranaki people are being urged to keep an eye on the skies and a lookout out for kereru¯ to help find out where the native pigeons do and don’t go.
Wild for Taranaki, a group involved in conservation work in the region.are encouraging people to join the Great Kereru¯ Count that runs until October 1.
‘‘The people of Taranaki share their lives with kereru¯ and they are a familiar resident of urban gardens, parks, bush remnants and large forested areas.’’ Wild for Taranaki Regional Co-ordinator Leigh
The kereru¯ is one of New Zealand’s most valuable assets when it comes to our native forests and plays a crucial role in dispersing seeds of our native trees such as tawa, taraire and matai. No other bird can fulfil this function, making the species essential for forest regeneration.
‘‘The survival of the kereru¯ in Taranaki is threatened by predators, window strike and collisions with vehicles,’’ Honnor said.
In 2016, there were 5880 observations and 11,990 of the birds counted nationally.
WWF-New Zealand’s chief executive officer Livia Esterhazy said that given the ecological importance of kereru¯ the data from the count was critical not just for protecting this species, but for ensuring the vitality of forest ecosystems for future generations.
‘‘Large flocks of more than 100 kereru¯ were once a common sight in skies over New Zealand – our ambition is to see them in abundance again,’’ Esterhazy said.
‘‘We’re encouraging New Zealanders to take part by counting the kereru¯ in backyards, schools, parks or reserves. The information collected from this nation-wide project will be used by conservationists to better protect kereru¯ and to help save our native forests.’’
Esterhazy said kereru¯ were large, distinctive looking birds with bright white singlets, surrounded by green and purple plumage making them easy to spot perched in treetops or on power lines.
Anyone who wants to take part in the count can do so at these websites www.greatkererucount.nz, www.naturewatch.org.nz or with the iNaturalist App available on iTunes and Google Play.
Kereru¯ are quite distinctive looking birds.