Following a meeting between the Department of Conservation and the Tiaki te Mauri o Parininihi Trust, the decision has been made to delay the capture and release of kōkako until late 2017.
Whilst the delay is disappointing, the welfare of the birds is our number one priority and we can still celebrate many successes. We have seen an increase in bird life in the Parininihi Forest, including kereru, korimako fantails and robins. This is a direct result of the intensive pest control that was done last spring and summer and the on-going improvements to trapping. Kiwi foot prints are often seen in the forest and there is a noticeable improvement in the understory due to low goat numbers and the overall condition of foliage is looking good.
The additional time we now have before the translocation in 2017 will allow for further work to be done to ensure the security of the habitat for the foreseeable future. This will involve maintaining the track network, continuing with the trapping regime, improving trapping and bait station set up especially around the perimeters to manage re-invasion from neighboring properties, working with neighbours to control pests and generally make overall improvements to the infrastructure of the control area.
We are very proud of the Trust’s progress to date – the large reduction in pest numbers achieved so far has been a major undertaking only made possible by the hours put in by the Trust, contractors, volunteers, and many supporters.
There have been many opportunities created to increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of our work and Taranaki’s natural environment, including telling of the story of Tamanui through the childrens book ‘Tamanui, the brave kōkako of Taranaki’, this book is a finalist in the NZ book awards. The Trust has also been giving regular presentations about Parininihi Forest and in particular the kōkako project to local schools in Taranaki.
The forests of Parininihi are flourishing from our efforts, and we remain committed to returning the progeny of Tamanui to them. The call of the kōkako will be heard again.
We wish to thank you all for your support to this point. The next round of volunteer days will be planned for the Spring 2016, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept up to date.