Rotokare makes conservation history

Rotokare makes conservation history

In May 2014, Rotokare made conservation history for Taranaki, by translocating tieke/saddleback to Rotokare after more that 150 years of local extinction.  

Half of the birds were sourced from Hauturu o Toi (Little Barrier Island) the other half from Bushy Park in Whanganui.   It is thought that tieke would have once been found throughout New Zealand.  However, after pressure from introduced mammalian predators such as rats and the reduction of their habitat, tieke were soon found on a single island (Hen Is), in the Hauraki Gulf.  With only 500 birds left, huge conservation effort was put into rescuing this endangered bird from extinction.  This has been a major conservation success story, with now an estimated 7,000 birds spread over many off shore islands and other mainland island sanctuaries, like Rotokare. 

As well as tieke, a further bird was translocated to Rotokare at the same time. The popokatea or whitehead is another bird missing from Rotokare (although found sparsley in other parts of Taranaki).   These birds are flocking birds, and are also an important host bird for the nest parasitic long tail cuckoo - which is also missing from Rotokare.  It is hoped in time these cuckoo will arrive, with the new population of popokatea now available as hosts. 





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