Species Reintroductions

We have now completed our first stage of species reintroductions.  These species are ecologically important and charismatic.  Some of these – such as the seabirds – needed initial protection to become established so a predator-free enclosure was built prior to the translocations. 

Cook’s petrel (titi)

50 Cook’s petrel seabirds were successfully translocated from Hauturu (Little Barrier Island) in March this year.

These seabirds were once common throughout New Zealand, playing an important role bringing rich marine nutrients via their droppings to native forest floors and also being a valued food source for pre-European Māori.

The Cape Sanctuary began their translocation of Cook’s petrel four years ago. They now eagerly await the return of their first nesting adults. 

Poutiri Ao o Tane is proud to join Cape Sanctuary in recreating a Hawke’s Bay population.

Mottled petrel (kori)

Mottled petrel seabirds, were also found in the ranges of Hawke’s Bay, but are now only on southern offshore islands such as Whenua Hou (Codfish Island). This species has never been translocated before so the first step is to fine tune methods to take account of specific requirements. Mottled petrel – unlike other translocated seabirds – have a largely krill-based diet. This project (led by Department of Conservation and Cape Sanctuary) is undertaking research into methods to successfully move these birds.

Unfortuntely the first scheduled translocation due in April this year was cancelled due to weather conditions and the chicks were in an advanced stage of growth.  The next scheduled translocation will take place in 2014.

Kākāriki and Kākā

We successfully translocated 29 Yellow-crowned kākāriki in September 2012 from Mana Island.  A further 30 will be translocated later in 2013.

There are five species of  kākāriki in New Zealand, . We will translocate Yellow-crowned  and the Cape Sanctuary will transfer Red-crowned kākāriki.

Kākā (bush parrot) is another endemic parrot which like the kākāriki were once common in Hawke’s Bay. With the introduction of pests and habitat destruction, these birds were reduced to only a few locations nation-wide.

Under the Poutiri Ao o Tane project, 6 kākā were transferred from Wellington Zoo and Pukaka Mount Bruce Reserve in September 2012.  They were released into specially built aviaries at Boundary Stream before being released into the wild in February this year.  Four of the birds were fitted with transmitters to monitor their locations.  All six kākā continue to be seen and heard around the aviary site.

Parrots are highly charismatic, wide-ranging and respond positively and quickly to predator control. The inquisitive and noisy nature of the kākāriki and kākā make them excellent ambassadors for  this project, and it is anticipated within several years of re-introduction they will be seen foraging across rural and urban landscapes.

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