Topic: Environment

40 kākāriki reintroduced to Moturua Island

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Northland
Kākāriki - Photo / Department of Conservation NZ

The kākāriki, or native parakeet to Aotearoa - has been reintroduced to the Bay of Islands by Northland restoration group, Project Island Song.

It's been 30 years since kākāriki have been in the region, due to rats, stoats and weasels forcing the birds into near extinction in the 1980s.

Forty birds were released on Moturua Island this week, the release is stage one of the group's plan to reintroduce kākāriki to mainland Aotearoa.  The kākāriki are picked to be a great tourist attraction in the region.

Project Island Song Co-ordinator Richard Robbins says, "We want Northlanders and the many tourists and travellers who visit the region to be able to see these beautiful green birds in the wild, and in our own backyard."

Te Rāwhiti hapū, Ngāti Kuta and Patukeha, partnered with the Department of Conservation and the Guardians of the Bay of Islands make up Project Island Song.  Members of Project Island Song were on Little Barrier Island catching the kākāriki ready for relocation to Moturua last week.

Robbins says, "Our job is to engage people and we see a project like this as an investment rather than a cost.

"There will be a huge payback for the region, with increased tourism, and people will stay longer when they visit the Bay of Islands."

He says kākāriki are highly mobile birds and they will be the first species of birds that will fly between the region’s many islands – and possibly the mainland.

"There’s no guarantee the birds will stay on Moturua Island once they are released.  So, this project is risky but there’s also a huge opportunity to progress towards a more ecological mainland where pest control is maintained and an environment where kākāriki could thrive."