$100k boost for kokako
Kokako will have a fighting chance thanks to a $ 100,000 investment from ratepayers.
The South Waikato District Council committed an annual $10,000 over 10 year years to the rare native birds living in the Mokaihaha Ecological Area.
The funding will go towards monitoring numbers and ground and aerial pest control initiatives.
The area is about 10 kilometres east of Tokoroa, encompassing the upper catchments of Pukerimu, Tikitiki, Mokaihaha and Onukutauira streams.
‘‘This project is in line with council’s forthcoming biodiversity strategy, which is being put in place to improve the biodiversity in our district, and to meet its obligations under the Resource Management Act,’’ environmental monitoring officer James Piddock said.
Nationally there are fewer than 400 kokako pairs in isolated populations.
The kokako population at Mokaihaha is isolated and has never been known to have dropped below 40 birds.
A census will take place in May and numbers will be monitored in the coming years.
By protecting the birds, it would help the district’s tourism in the future, Piddock said.
‘‘The benefits from this project include recreational and economic development opportunities for our district as there is potential for this site to grow.’’
He said Jim Barnett reserve started from a similar project.
SAVING GRACE: The future for kokako in the district looks bright thanks to a hefty investment from ratepayers.