June 12, 2023
Taranaki predator control gives kōkako room to thrive
For the first time in more than 25 years the rich organ-like notes of the kōkako can once again be heard in a North Taranaki forest.
DOC field staff were recently surprised to pick up kōkako calls in the Waitaanga Conservation Area – roughly 200 square kilometres of dense bush west of Taumarunui.
They’ve worked out the birds were part of an original release at Parininihi 6 years ago, further east towards the Taranaki coast.
Biodiversity ranger, Brandon Kingi, says it was a surprise because the kōkako have limited flight capabilities – but it seems massive joint predator control work with local iwi, Ngāti Tama, is giving the birds a safe passage.
“All the hard mahi you’re doing, all the trapping and stuff like that, it’s quite rewarding and satisfying to see that mahi is actually working, and gives you a bit more motivation and drive to keep going hard with that kind of work and hopefully those populations will thrive – and other people can come and experience that for themselves too,” Mr Kingi says.