This page covers New Zealand translocation projects conducted since 1990, but has not been updated regularly since 2009. If you have information to contribute, please e-mail Doug Armstrong. Information on reintroductions prior to 1990 is available from the New Zealand Translocation Database.
There are other species that have been translocated, but not since 1990. These include the White-flippered Penguin (Eudyptula albosignata), Grey Duck (Anas superciliosa), Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata), Spotless Crake (Porzanza tabuensis), Western Weka (Gallirallus australis australis), Buff Weka (G. a. hectori), Stewart Island Weka (G. a. scotti), Pied Stilt (Hemantopus leucocephalus), Chatham Island Snipe (Coenocorypha pusilla), Antipodes Island Parakeet (Cyanoramphus unicolor), Bush Wren (Xenicus longipes, now extinct), , and Fiordland Skink (Oligosoma acrinasum).
Island (1965 ha, off SW of North Island). In April 2005, 20 captive-bred lesser
short-tailed bats were released onto Kapiti Island. It is hoped that this
will be the world's first successful translocation of bats. Previous
attempts at translocating adult bats (pekapeka) were unsuccessful, possibly
because bats returned to their source populations. Consequently, young
juveniles were used for the reintroduction to Kapiti. The juveniles were
produced by pregnant females collected from an isolated, genetically-distinct,
threatened colony in the Tararua Forest Park in December 2004 and taken
to the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre in the Wairarapa to give
birth. In February, when the pups were old enough to fly, they were transferred
to Kapiti Island where they were placed in a temporary aviary to acclimatise to
the island before being released into the wild. The pups’mothers were returned
to their home in the Tararuas. Supplementary feeding was stopped in
September, and bats caught in October had maintained their weight. The
bats were roosting in tree crevices rather than the nesting boxes provided for
them, but still visited the aviary where they were initially kept and snuggled
into the polar fleece where they roosted there. Bats caught in December
2005 showed balding and had scabs on their ears, and these were probably clinical
signs of a mite infestation. No mites were seen on the bats or in skin
scrapings, but they are usually present at low densities and difficult to
diagnose except based on clinical signs. Infestations in captive populations
tend to lead to death, so bats were treated. Bats caught at this time showed a
slight loss of weight, but were similar to weights from natural
populations. Infestation may have occurred either because (1) bats were
in poor condition and had low immunocompetence, or (2) bats frequently roosted
in the aviary provided and did not show the roost switching behaviour seen in
natural populations. More juvenile bats were scheduled for translocation to
Kapiti Island in 2006. Contact Lynn
Little spotted kiwi (photo G. Moon) became extinct on the mainland by about 1970, but survived because a few birds were introduced to predator-free Kapiti Island in 1912 or 1923, where they grew to the present population of about 1000. There were translocations to Hen, Red Mercury, and Long Islands in the 1980s, all of which appear to have been successful at establishing populations. None of these islands probably had little spotted kiwi historically, but they provide predator-free refuges. There have have been subsequent translocations to:
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). Introduction. 10 birds were translocated from Kapiti Island in 1993, and another 6 in 1995. While this species was not found on the island historically, the introduction was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme. Contact Rogan Colbourne.
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. 40 birds (22 males and 18 females) were translocated from Kapiti Island between July 2000 and July 2001, the first transfer of this species back to the North Island since their extinction here c 125 years ago. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Little spotted kiwi have bred every year since release and have spread throughout the Sanctuary. Guided night walks provide an opportunity to hear and sometimes see these birds at night. Contact Raewyn Empson.
Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project (Nelson Lakes National Park, South Island). 10 Great Spotted Kiwi were translocated from Kahurangi National Park to Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project in May 2004. One bird injured in transit now in captivity as a founder for captive breeding. The other 9 settled in the release area with negligible dispersal. Birds transferred as true pairs exhibited less dispersal than artificial pairings. Breeding was detected in year 1 (one nest), with four nests in year 2. One chick has been located providing an opportunity to learn about development of this species. At 6 months this chick is still sheltering with both parents. 1 adult bird died by drowning. Monitoring at source site indicate a slightly elevated call rate, indicating no significant negative effect upon the source population 1 year after collection. A follow-up transfer was recommended and undertaken in June 2006 to increase the founder population. A source site 4km distant from 2004 site was slected.10 birds (4 pair, 2 female) were targeted but proved difficult to capture, with 7 birds transferred (3 pair,1 female). Birds were located and captured using certified night dog and handler. Birds held and transferred in individual transfer boxes which had been modified to prevent injury as occurred 2004. Helicopter transported after holding between 12 and 40 hours. All birds are radio tagged, including transmitters that detect and report on breeding activity. True pair again dispersed less than artificial pair. No displacement of resident birds from May 2004 was detected. Contact Matt Maitland (Matt.Maitland@arc.govt.nz).
North Island brown kiwi still survive in several mainland locations, but are declining due to predation on juveniles. There were several early translocations of kiwi to islands where they did not historically occur, resulting in the current populations on several islands in the Bay of Islands and on Kwau, Little Barrier and Ponui Islands in the Hauraki Gulf. There were also several attempts to re-introduce kiwi to mainland areas in southern Northland, Hawkes Bay and the King Country, using birds salvaged from areas being cleared or logged in Northland. These have all but died out, which is now deemed fortunate given the high level of genetic differentation in this species (Colbourne & Robertson 2000). Recent translocations have been done in the context of Operation Nest Egg, where eggs are taken from wild birds, hatched in captivity, and juveniles released when they reach a size (> 1 kg) where they are not vulnerable to stoats.
Motukawanui Island (ca. 400 ha, Cavalli Islands, Northland). 10 captive-bred or captive-reared kiwi were released, ca. 1997. The birds had transmitters, and were closely followed to assess whether they could cope with the transition from captivity to the wild. Birds used typical kiwi daytime roost sites under dense vegetation right from the start, suggesting that captive-reared birds would be able to cope with predators. Some breeding has now taken place on this island. See Colbourne & Robertson (2000).Contact Hugh Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Northland. Supplementation. As of mid 2000, 30 juveniles had been returned to Northland sites where eggs or young chicks were originally collected. Their annual survival rate (0.66) has been slightly but not significantly lower than that of wild-bred juveniles in the same area (0.80). Two of the oldest males have paired with wild birds, and bred in 1999/00. See Colbourne & Robertson (2000). Contact Hugh Robertson (email@example.com).
Tongariro. Supplementation. As of mid 2000, 13 captive-reared juveniles had been released to the wild and have had a high survival rate. See Colbourne & Robertson (2000). Contact Hugh Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Boundary Stream Mainland Island (ca. 800 ha managed mainland area, Hawkes Bay, near east coast of North Island). Reintroduction. 5 kiwi had been released as of February 2001, a male in March 2000, a female in May 2000, a male in June 2000, a female in January 2001, and a female in February 2001. These kiwi came from eggs removed from wild kiwi in the eastern Kaweka ranges. Eggs are transferred to captive incubation and rearing facilities at the Westshore Wildlife Centre, Napier, and chicks kept in captivity until they are at least 800 g. The birds released have been 3-4 months olds and weighed from 850-1150 g. Kiwi had slowly declined in the Boundary Stream area over many decades, and appear to have become extinct in the late 1990s. The extinction is attributed to exotic predators, particularly stoats. Control of rats, cats, mustelids and possums since 1996 has now reduced these predators to low levels, and the size of the juveniles released should ensure that they are not taken by stoats. 12 chicks had hatched in the reserve as of winter 2006, and there was a population of 22 birds with 6 breeding pairs. Contact Denise Fastier (email@example.com).
Pukaha/Mt Bruce. Kiwi of mixed lineage were transferred from captivity to the reserve. Contact Lynn Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tawharanui Open Sanctuary (588-ha predator fenced peninsula 90 km N of Auckland). Reintroduction. A total of 44 birds have been released (25 males, 19 females), including 15 birds in November 2006, 25 in November 2007 and 4 in September 2008. The birds mostly came from Operation Nest Egg, with eggs/chicks taken from Northland, raised briefly in captivity, then released temporarily on Motuora Island or Matakohe/Limestone Island until about 1200 g. Some Motuora Island born birds also included. Captured by day and night dogging, temporary radio tags fitted, recaptured and transported, and released in artificial burrow. All birds fitted with transponder. There had been no known deaths as of December 2008. One bird moved outside of the predator-proof fence. Breeding observed in 2007 (n = 1 egg, infertile) and 2008 ( 2x 1 egg nests assumed succesful hatches, and 2 active 2nd brood nests). Contact Matt Maitland (Matt.Maitland@arc.govt.nz).
Maungatautari(3400 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), Waikato, North Island. Reintroduction. 14 western North Island brown kiwi had been released as of December 2007, and the plan is to release at least 60 in total. Kiwi appear to have disappeared from the mountain about 100 years ago. Most of the birds are coming from “Operation Nest Egg” programmes, where eggs are taken from the wild in areas where stoats are abundant and juvenile survival therefore low, and the remainder are from captive breeding. All released birds are currently being monitored by radio telemetry. Breeding is closely monitored, and the first chick hatched in early December 2007. Contact Chris Smuts-Kennedy (email@example.com).
Tuhua/Mayor Island (1277ha, Bay of Plenty). Seven kiwi from a 8630-ha pine forest owned by Kiwi Foresty Group, eastern Bay of Plenty, have been translocated to Tuhua/Mayor Island (from Forest & Bird 321: 13). Mammalian predators, including Norway rats, kiore, feral pigs and feral cats were eradicated in 2000. Tuhua comproses mainly pohutukawa/hardwood forest with shrublands and wetlands. Kiwi chicks had been produced as of December 2007. Contact John Heaphy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Okarito Forest. Supplementation. As for North Island brown kiwi, eggs or chicks are transferred to a safe environment for a year, then transferred back when about 1-year old. 6 captive-reared birds were released in 1996, and 12 in 1997. Instead of captive-rearing, chicks are now tranlocated to a predator-free island (Motuara) for their first year of life. 10 chicks were translocated to Motuara in December 1998, and another from Feburary-March 1999. Translocation back to Okarito was scheduled to begin in 1999/00. Contact John Lyall (email@example.com).
Doubtful Island (137 ha, Doubtful Island Group, Lake Te Anau) and Doubtful Island 2 (25 ha, Doubtful Island Group, Lake Te Anau). 7 males and 2 female kiwi translocated from the Murchison Mountains, May 2002. Contact Andrew "Max" Smart (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Reintroduction. 40 chicks were translocated from Takapourewa (Stephens Island) on 13 January 2002, and an additional 200 chicks were translocated over the subsequent two years. The chicks were kept in artificial burrows on Mana, and were hand fed once a day. Trials comparing different diets were undertaken during the 2002 & 2003 translocations, with most of the chicks fed on a diet based on tinned sardines. All 240 chicks fledged in good condition. This joint project between the Department of Conservation and Friends of Mana Island was helped by the assistance and enthusiasm of Ngati Koata, Ngati Toa and the three teams of volunteer feeders. Three chicks had returned to the island by 2006, and a pair of these bred in 2006/07. A pair of unbanded birds from an unknown location bred on the island in 2005/06. Contact Colin Miskelly (email@example.com).
Matakhoe/Limestone Island (37 ha, Whangarei Harbour). Grey-faced petrels were reintroduced to Matakhoe/Limestone Island in late 2004. Chicks were translocated from Taranga (Hen) Island in the Hen and Chicken Group and placed in artificial burrows, and more were due to be translocated over the next four years. The reintroduction is part of the restoration programme for the island, following use as a flax-processing plant and lime works. 10000-20000 trees are planted each year to restore the original coastal broadleaf forest. From New Zealand Geographic 72: 18-20.
Black petrels now breed only on Great Barrier and Little Barrier Islands. They formerly bred on the lower coastal mountain ranges of the North Island and northwestern South Island, but were eradicated by predators. The only translocations have been to:
Little Barrier Island / Hauturu (3083 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). Between 1986 annd 1990, 249 black petrels close to fledging were translocated from Great Barrier Island (46 in 1986, 60 in 1987, 40 in 1988, 49 in 1989, 54 in 1990). Black petrels were reduced to very low numbers by cats on Little Barrier Island before cats were eradicated from 1977-80. At the same time, 50 black petrels of similar age to those transferred were banded as controls on Hauturu. Searches for these birds returning to breeding sites on both islands began in 1991 but three times more search effort was made on more-accessible Aotea. During their first 4.8 years of life at sea the only recovery came from off Ecuador (close to where two 6 year olds were also recovered). Since then to 2001,32 birds have been recaptured or recovered in New Zealand. Most were first recaptured at 5-6 years old and first breeding at 6-7 years old. A maximum of 42% survived to 6 years old. Survival rates of translocated and control birds were similar. The 1990 cohort had significantly better survival than did the 1986-89 cohorts, and this cohort, just 21% of the experimental birds, contributed 43% of chicks known to have been reared by experimental birds to 2001. Neither body mass at departure nor the El Niiio-Southern Oscillation was clearly related to this differential survival. Most translocated birds returned to Aotea; none of the 1986-89 cohorts was found on Hauturu but 2 of the 3 1990 birds that were recaptured returned to Hauturu. See Imber et al. (2003) or contact Mike Imber (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kaikoura Peninsula (NE South Island). In March 2005, a trial translocation of just 10 Huttons shearwater chicks occurred from the Te Uerau Nature Reserve colony, one of the two extant colonies in the seaward Kaikoura range, to coastal farmland on the Kaikoura Peninsula. The trial was intended as a learning exercise for Department of Conservation staff before embarking on the major exercise of shifting 100 pre-fledging birds during each of the next three years. 80 chicks were translocated in 2006 and 100 in March 2007. Previous research by Richard Cuthbert had shown the main colony to be stable but at risk from ungulate disturbance or slips and rock fall in this alpine environment. The new colony provides some safeguard for the species as it can be well protected from such factors and, in addition, has the potential to provide opportunities for public viewing as the colony becomes established. Further chicks were translocated in March-April 2006. Contact Peter Gaze (email@example.com) or Steve Cranwell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ha, in Marlborough Sounds off NE South Island). From 1991 to 1996, 334
fluttering shearwater chicks were transferred from Long Island to Maud Island.
Chicks were artificially housed and hand-fed until fledging. Overall fledging
success was 82%. 32 of the 273 chicks that fledged returned to Maud Island, and
30 had bred as of 2004. Mean age of first breeding was 6.8 years (range 5-10
years). Returning chicks were heavier at fledging and spent longer on Maud
Island than chicks that did not return. Translocated chicks showed
typical post-fledging behaviour by dispersing to southeast Australian waters.
colony has gradually increased, and 15 pairs bred in 2003/04. See Bell et al. (2004) or contact Brian Bell (email@example.com).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Fluttering shearwaters were reintroduced to Mana Island in January 2006 when 40 chicks were translocated from Long Island in the Marlborough Sounds. Chicks were captured and translocated 1-3 weeks prior to fledging, then given daily feeding of artificial diet (“Brunswick” sardine smoothies) in pre-prepared “breeding” burrows until fledging. These burrows were on regenerating coastal cliffs on western side of Mana Island. Bones have been found on Mana indicating the species had been on the island in the past, but no birds have nested on the island in recent time. The aim is to restore the nutrient cycles associated with seabird colonies, and facilitate recovery of species (eg., high nutrient threatened plants, reptiles). Mice have been eradicated from Mana Island, and results from previous seabird reintroductions using similar techniques suggest this reintroduction will be successful. Up to 100 additional chicks with be translocated in each of the next two years, and chicks will continue to be translocated at different ages to determining when chicks establish site fidelity. From Lynn Adams, Department of Conservation, Wellington Conservancy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ha, off SW North Island). Chicks translocated from North Brother Island,
Motumahanga Island and Taranaki.
Brown teal (photo: D. Armstrong) is a species that is struggling in the few mainland locations left, and also on islands or mainland areas where they have been reintroduced. They breed well in captivity, and many reintroductions and supplementations have been done, mostly using captive-reared birds produced by Ducks Unlimited NZ as part of "Operation Pateke". However, reintroductions have had poor success with most populations disappearing shortly after reintroduction. Little research or monitoring has accompanied these reintroductions, but predation is probably a key factor. Places where birds have been released since 1990 are listed below.
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). Introduction. 12 birds were released, 1987-90. These have bred and hung on in low numbers, but by winter of 2002 only 6 teal (4 female, 2 male) were known to remain. 11 captive-bred birds were released in June and July 2002 to supplement the existing population. Two of these were preyed on (probably by harrier hawks) soon after release. While there are no mammalian predators on Tiritiri Matangi, predation by harriers and pukeko appears to be a limiting factor. The reintroduction is part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme.
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area
surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction.
18 captive bred juveniles (9 males and 9 females) were released between November 2000 and April 2001. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Survival of transmittered birds was good with 7/9 still known to be alive in Sept 2001, but breeding was not confirmed until late 2002. At least six of the released birds bred successfully and breeding has occurred every year since then. Good productivity has resulted in increased competition for preferred wetland habitats and, because these habitats are limited in the Sanctuary, losses have occurred as a result. Transfers of surplus juveniles to new sites is a preferred option for management of the population because this would also help establish new populations elsewhere, but suitable release sites are yet to be identified. Therefore supplementary feeding of maize has been largely discontinued since early 2006 to reduce productivity and competition for territories. Genetic analysis of the population in 2006-2007 should clarify whether or not there has been a loss of genetic diversity and whether additional birds need to be released into the population in future. Contact Raewyn Empson (email@example.com).
Coromandel Peninsula (NE North Island). Supplementation. Brown Teal have been released at Port Charles, Coromandel Peninsula. 38 were released 38 in 2003, 42 in 2004, 62 in 2005 = 62, and 72 in 2006, always with birds that were 6-11 months of age and with an approximately 1:1 sex ratio. A release of 50 further birds is planned for January 2007. The release site has about 500 ha of wetland, pasture, and forest, and the species existed at the site in small numbers, down from the large numbers found historically. The aim is to establish a viable breeding population outside the species’ strongholds on Great Barrier Island and eastern Northland. The release site was chosen for a number of reasons, including its situation in the centre of the Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary’s 30000 ha mustelid control area. Specific cat control was established, and is maintained year round by another local landowner. Birds were bred by the Pateke Captive Breeder Network (20 breeders nationwide), co-ordinated by Kevin Evans (Pateke Captive Breeding Co-ordinator), using captive stock originating from Great Barrier Island. Six weeks prior to each release, all birds were transferred to Isaacs Wildlife Centre in Christchurch for quarantine and disease screening. Before release, birds had colour bands and had radio transmitters attached, were transported from Christchurch to Auckland, then flown by helicopter to the release site. Supplementary food was provided at the release site. Released birds are monitored using telemetry and visually monitored by a local landowner daily for first month, then twice weekly for 12 months. Flock counts are done at several locations each February. The released birds have had an average of 65% survival for the 12 months after release. The main cause of death is now vehicle strike, followed by cat predation, and measures are being taken to reduce the incidence of vehicle strike. Monitoring in 2005-06 and 2006-07 will determine wild bred juvenile survival to breeding age. There is ongoing predator and habitat restoration, all with active participation from land owners who have been pivotal to the success of the project. Contact Jason Roxburgh, Department of Conservation, Hauraki Area Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tuhua/Mayor Island (1277ha, Bay of Plenty). Reintroduction. 28 brown teal were released in February 2006 (Forest & Bird 320: 15). Mammalian predators, including Norway rats, kiore, feral pigs and feral cats were eradicated in 2000. Tuhua comproses mainly pohutukawa/hardwood forest with shrublands and wetlands. Ducklings seemed to be abundant in December 2007. Contact John Heaphy (email@example.com).
Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park (119 ha freshwater wetland in Christchurch, South Island, Grid ref 853 469 NZMS series 260). Reintroduction?. 20 captive-bred teal (10 male, 10 female, 4-6 months old) released 16 May 2007. The teal were sent from captive breeders to Lady Issacc’s Peacock Springs wildlife park for quarantine for 1 month before release, fitted with Sirtrack transmitters on 14-15 May, and transported by road to Travis Wetland and released at 11.00 am on 16 May. They were monitored daily for the first month, then 3 x per week. As of the 30 December 2007 there were 8 birds remaining on site (4 male, 4 female) and signs of breeding behaviour but no sign of ducklings yet. 11 birds have died; 4 due to cats, 1 due to stoat, 5 either due to harriers or scavenging by harriers made it impossible to determine, 1 female due to car 10 km away from the release site (all transmitters and remains have been recovered). The reintroduction is part of the restoration of Travis Wetland, but known to be uncertain due to predation risk. We have set out to provide a predator reduced environment where the pressure from predation is not limiting breeding success of resident wetland bird species. Trapping for mustelids and rats has been in place for 5 years, with 58 traps distributed over 2 trap lines (one around the perimeter and the other through the centre of the wetland). The habitat is a mix of peat sedge/rush swamp, mixed exotic and native grazing marsh on mineral soils, willow forest and restoration planting, permanent and seasonal open waterways and ponds. Contact John Skilton (John.Skilton@ccc.govt.nz).
Open Sanctuary (588-ha predator fenced peninsula 90 km N of
Auckland). Reintroduction. There was an attempt to
reintroduce brown teal to Tawharanui in 1995 before the predator-proof fence
was erected, but all 8 birds released at that time were killed by cats or
stoats. In Feburary 2008, brown teal became the fourth bird species to be
reintroduced following the erection of the predator-proof fence and mammal
control/eradication programme. 24 captive-bred birds were “hardened off
and socialised” at Peacock Springs,
Some reintroduction attempts with little information available are as follows:
Mimiwhangata. 175 birds released, 1984-91.
Mouroa Island. 20 birds released, 1985-94.
Urupukapuka Island. 25 birds released, 1988-94.
Purerua Peninsula. 330 birds released, 1989-92.
Hokianga Harbour. 167 birds released, 1993-94.
Waikino Inlet. 30 birds released, 1994.
Waihoanga Stream. 27 birds released, 1996-97.
Parorerahi Bay. 28 birds released, 1997-98.
Campbell Island (11,300 ha subantarctic island). Campbell Island Teal were reintroduced to Campbell Island in 2004 (50 released), 2005 (55 released), and 2006 (54 released) following eradication of Norway rats in 2001. Campbell Island teal are flightless, and presumed to have been killed off by rats soon after their discovery on the island in 1810. They survived on 26 ha Dent Island (approx 3 km off the coast of Campbell), and birds from Dent were brought to New Zealand for captive breeding programme in 1984 and 1990. The first breeding occurred in 1995, and 12 birds were released on to Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) in 1999 and 2000 to prepare them for survival on Campbell. Subsequent monitoring has found no evidence of rats. Some birds have stayed close to the release sites (3 sites in the same catchment) while others travelled widely, one bird moving over 5 km around the coast and another moving 1 km up a hill to an altitude of 187 m. A Department of Conservation team that visited the island over the 2005/06 summer found ducklings from that breeding season and unbanded adult ducks from the previous breeding season. Contact Peter McClelland (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The blue duck (photo D.Armstrong) is a river specialist. They were formerly widely distributed in the North and South Islands, but are now mainly restricted to forested mountains where waterways have not been substantially altered by hydro-electric developments.
Egmont National Park (west central North Island). 12 birds were released in Egmont National Park over three separate releases (1986, 1989 and 1991). Of these, seven were captive-reared juveniles and five were wild adult birds from the Manganui-a-te-ao River. So far the establishment of blue duck in Egmont National Park has been of limited success with only 3 known birds remaining, all of which are male. These are distributed widely, one on the Waiaua River (originating from the 1991 release), one on the Waiwhakaiho River (the single male released in 1989) and one on the Manganui River in the area of his release in 1986. Breeding has been recorded in the past. However with an observed lack of females within the present known population, there is no chance of continued natural recruitment, and there is currently a proposal to translocate more animals. See Hutchinson (1998).
Kahurangi National Park. Attempts to protect blue duck in Kahurangi National Park continue to use the technique of raising young in captivity for re-introduction. The first clutch is taken at mid incubation, hatched in captivity and raised until the young are on the point of fledging before being returned to their natal river. The adult female has usually been able to go on and raise a second clutch. The technique has been used most successfully in the Wangapeka catchment where predators are controlled and the injection of many young birds has allowed a rapid response by the population from an initial known population of 3 birds. An attempt to use this technique to re-introduce blue duck into the Flora catchment was not successful. These young were released late in the summer of 2004 into a river that has less invertebrate food and the problems were compounded by a particularly tough winter. The surviving young, however, were recaptured, nursed back to health in captivity and then released the following summer (January 2005) into the Wangapeka where they have flourished. Another attempt to re-introduce birds to the Flora (where predators are also controlled) will be made using wild raised young just prior to fledging. A further 11 ducks were released in the Wangapeka River catchment in Mach 2006, giving a total of at least 27 blue ducks at the time of the release to supplement the populationFrom Peter Gaze (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. 7 captive-bred birds (4 males and 3 females) were released from Wellington Zoo between April 2001 and March 2003. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). The first ducklings were produced in early December 2002 and scaup have bred every year since then. Given that there were no lakes in Wellington historically, this is probably the first time that scaup have ever bred in the wild in Wellington (the nearest natural populations of scaup are in the Horowhenua or the Wairarapa). Scaup can be seen on both lakes but limited habitat probably means that some are dispersing outside the sanctuary. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre wetlands (not captivity). Two birds
were transferred from captivity in August 2004. More will be transferred as
they become available and if techniques ensure birds stay at the site.
Bird wings were clipped to encourage them to stay on the wetland, recognising
that they would be free to fly away once wing feathers moult. Birds are
feed supplimentary food daily. Contact Raelene Berry (email@example.com).
New Zealand falcons are still found on the mainland, but habitat loss, human disturbance at nests and illegal persecution threatens this endemic species. Offspring of captive pairs are being released into suitable habitat to supplement the wild population. Hunting skills are established using traditional falconry techniques prior to release. A juvenile female was recently trained for 8 weeks and released in March 2002. She was trained and released in a horticultural area near Greytown where numerous flocks of passerines fed on seed crops. The release site is frequented by wild falcons outside of the breeding season, is close to habitat were falcons are know to breed, and is unlikely to be subject to illegal persecution of falcons preying on racing pigeons and poultry. A tail mounted radio transmitter was attached. Two days after release she was seen chasing and capturing an Australian Magpie and was still seen at the release sight 4 weeks after release. Contact Matthew Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kundy Island (19 ha, off SW Stewart Island). Reintroduction. 13 birds from Pohowaitai Island released March 1999. Part of island's restoration, following removal of weka in the 1980s. Contact Peter McClelland (email@example.com).
North Island weka (photo D. Armstrong), a flightless rail, were widespread throughout the North Island at the turn of the century, but became locally extinct region by region. By the 1950s, the East Cape-Gisborne district was the last stronghold, and weka have continued to persist in the Motu township-Opotiki area in the eastern Bay of Plenty for reasons that are unclear. North Island weka have been the most translocated animal in New Zealand, having undergone 130 translocations from the 1950s up to the early 1980s. Most of these were in response to complaints about weka from crop growers, and few releases were successful at establishing populations. However, translocations over this period resulted in establishment of 3 island popultions (Kawau, Rakitu, Mokoia) and one mainland population (at Rawhiti in Northland) which has now become extinct. Translocations in the 1990s are shown below. There have been no recorded translocations in the 1990s involving the other three races of weka (Western Weka, from the western South Island; Stewart Island, from Stewart Island and surrounding islands; and Buff Weka, originally found in the eastern South Island but now only in the Chatham Islands where they were introduced in 1905). Contact Dave King for information on weka recovery.
Karangahake Gorge (eastern North Island, just south of Coromandel Peninsula). Reintroduction. 101 captive-bred birds released from 1992-1996. The weka suffered a high predation rate, the population is now extinct, and the project has been abandoned. See Graeme & Graeme (1994) and Bramley & Veltman (1998). Contact Ann Graeme (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pakatoa Island (30 ha, Hauraki Gulf). 34 captive-bred birds released in 1996. Since then the population has fluctuated from 51 to 19 birds as drought has taken its toll. Contact Ann Graeme (email@example.com).
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). Poison Insurance. 34 birds were temporarily held in captivity, then released back on Mokoia after a brodifacoum poison drop (an unsuccessful attempt to eradicate mice) in September 1996. The operation was designed to insure that weka were not eradicated from the island. They had been reduced to low numbers following a ground poison operation on Mokoia in 1989-90. See Owen 1998a. Contact Keith Owen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Whanganui Island (286 ha, W of Coromandel township). 32 captive-bred birds released in 1997. Further captive-bred birds released 1998/99. Initially many captive-bred and possibly naive weka were taken by hawks and stoats. Now the stoats have been trapped, trap lines buffer the island from the adjacent mainland and the surviving weka are known to have reared at least two clutches this season (1999/00).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. Four pairs of captive-bred weka were held in breeding pens in the Sanctuary between 1998 and 2000 as part of the North Island weka captive breeding programme and juveniles produced by these birds were translocated to Whanganui Island . Once the mammal-proof fence and pest eradication had been completed, the 9 remaining weka (6 males and 3 females) were released into the Sanctuary in June 2000. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). To reduce potential conflicts with the restoration of other species, the weka are confined to the northern end of the Sanctuary by a temporary fence located just south of the northern lake. Breeding has occurred since birds were released but in the main the weka are shy and not readily observed. Contact Raewyn Empson (email@example.com).
Russell Peninsula. Reintroduction. Weka were released in August and September 2002. Weka would have been found in this area historically, but have been extirpated from most of the North Island by introduced predators (probably cats, dogs, and mustelids). Predator control is carried out in the area. Weka now appear to have colonised the whole peninsula of ca. 3000 ha.
Abel Tasman National Park (northern tip of South Island). Reintroduction. Weka were reintroduced to Totaranui in Abel Tasman National Park when 9 birds from Long Island, Marlborough Sounds, were translocated. Once abundant in the park, they were last seen at Totaranui in 2001. They were kept in an aviary at the release site for one month before release. There is stoat trapping in the area. From Forest & Bird 321: 13.
The takahe (photo D. Armstrong), a large flightless endemic rail, was once presumed extinct, but a population was discovered in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, in 1948. This population had declined by the 1970s, and subsequent management has kept this population fairly steady at about 120 birds. Captive-reared takahe are produced at the Burwood Captive Rearing Unit and the National Wildlife Centre. These these birds have been used since 1991 to augment the remnant Murchison Mountains population on an annual basis. They have also been used to reintroduce takahe to the Stuart Islands and introduce them to four islands (see below). The islands probably did not have takahe historically (hence the term "introduction"), but provide refuges from introduced mammalian predators.
Stuart Mountains (Fiordland). Reintroduction. 58 captive-reared yearling takahe were released in the western Stuart Mountains, a former part of the takahe's range to the north of the Murchison Mourtinas, from 1987-92. 22% of these were known to survive their first year in the wild, but the others are unaccounted for. The reintroduction program was stopped in 1993 due to difficulties with monitoring the population and the apparent low number of birds surviving (only four nesting attempst were recorded between 1989-93). One pair and two single birds were found in the area in 2000-01. The following summer only a single bird remained where the pair had been, and it and another single birds were translocated to the core area in the Murchison Mountains.
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland).
Introduction. 2 birds from
Island released 1991, 1 bird from Maud Island released 1992, 1 egg translocated from Maud Island and reared by Tiri males, 1993, 2 birds from Mana Island 1994, 1 bird from Kapiti Island 1994, 3 captive-reared birds 1994, 1 bird from Kapiti Island 1995. While this species was not found on the island historically, the introduction was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme. Contact Barbara Walter, Tiritiri Matangi Island (09 479-4490).
Kapiti Island (1965 ha, off SW of North Island). Introduction. Captive-reared birds from National Wildlife Centre released 1991.
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW of North Island). Introduction. Captive-reared birds from National Wildlife Centre released 1991.
Maud Island (309 ha, Marlborough Sounds). Introduction.
Maungatautari (3400 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a
mammal-proof fence), Waikato, North Island. Introduction. Two takahe had
been released as of December 2007, and the plan is to have about 5 pairs on the
mountain. Takahe were not found on the North Island historically, but the
rationale for the introduction is that they are the closest analogue to the
extinct North Island takahe, or moho. The takahe are contained within a
separately-fenced wetland site, and have had 4 breeding attempts over the last
2 seasons. The most recent attempt (their second this season) finally
resulted in a fertile egg, but unfortunately the chick died in the shell
shortly before hatching. Contact Chris Smuts-Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kaki (photo: P. Cook) are an endangered wading bird found in braided rivers and wetlands in New Zealand. Formerly widespread throughout most of the North and South Islands its distribution is now restricted to the Upper Waitaki Basin, on the eastern side of the South Islands Southern Alps. As at February 2002 there are 47 adult kaki in the wild, of which only 14 - 18 are females. Causes of decline were likely to be predation by introduced mammals (feral cats, ferrets, stoats, Norway rats, hedgehogs, possums) and loss of habitat from invasion of braided rivers by introduced weeds (e.g., crack willow, gorse, broom, lupins), water extraction for irrigation, channelisation from flood protection schemes, flooding or drainage of rivers for hydro-electric power development. Kaki will hybridise with pied stilts, particularly when no female kaki are available for males. The mixed pairs that result have fertile offspring, but survival to adult age is about 50 % of that of pure kaki pairs. All available evidence suggest that kaki are a separate species that have evolved in isolation from pied stilts for around 1 million years. Kaki differ from pied stilts in morphology, plumage, behaviour, mtDNA, voice and in analyses of proteins, and by concordance.
Management of kaki began in 1981, and focussed on protection of wild breeding pairs in situ, by predator control, enhancement of small wetland sites, and artificial incubation of eggs. Captive pairs were established in 1979 at Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre in Wairarapa from eggs taken from the wild. From 1981 to 1987 eight one-year-old sub-adults were released to the wild. A new captive-breeding centre was built in Twizel in 1986, and the birds from Mt Bruce were transferred to it. Twenty-two birds were released between 1987 and 1992 from the Twizel aviaries, as most hatchlings were retained for captive breeding stock, or placed under wild kaki or mixed kaki - hybrid pairs. In 1992, the ratio between chicks held in captivity, and those put back into the wild was changed. More chicks were held and raised in the aviaries ready for release at aged nine months, with the aim of raising up to 30 chicks for release. Nine months was chosen as the release age because the sub-adults would have then been held in captivity over winter, and because this is close to the natural separation time for wild pairs and their offspring. From 1998 experimental releases of juveniles have been tried: to determine whether three-month-old juveniles can be successfully released. Releases have been supplementations rather than re-introductions. All birds released were individually colour banded, and all had transmitters.
Twizel Aviary wetlands 1993-95
Sub-adults released in 1993 (33 birds), 1994 (30) and 1995 (21). Released September-October. 50% of released birds were dead within 50 days in most years. Survival to breeding age (one year after release) was typically 23-43 %. Mortality was mainly attributed to predators or trauma after colliding with obstacles. Movements of birds after release were around the release site, or to the nearby Ohau River, and up to 12 km downstream.
Ruataniwha Wetland, Ohau River delta 1996-97
Seven sub-adults hard-released and 8 soft-released at Ruataniwha Wetland, 35 others released on the Ohau Delta Site B, 1996-1997. Released September-October. Soft-releases from portable aviary, hard-releases direct from transport boxes to wild. Mortality was very high immediately post-release, and 17 survived (35%) survived to breeding age. Predators and to a lesser degree trauma were considered the main cause of death, but evidence for this was limited. Birds released on the Ohau River delta mainly moved to the nearby Tekapo River system, or stayed at the delta.
Cass River area 1998-2000
21 sub-adults released directly to wild from August-September 1998. 10 (48 %) survived to breeding. The deaths occurred within 10 days of the release following a snowstorm. Supplementary food and iodine (to correct possible goitre) were initiated, and no birds have been confirmed dead since. All birds remained within wetlands in release area. In 1999, 10 juveniles (3 months old) were released in February, and 17 subadults and 3 adults were released in September. All received iodine in their diet, and supplementary food after release. Few birds died after release, and survival over the first 2 months was > 85 % (only two birds found dead). One juvenile moved 32 km south, all other birds remaining in wetlands in the release area. In 2000, 33 juveniles released from January-February. All birds had iodine and supplementary food, and all birds survived the first 2 months. Birds from this release mostly left the release site within five days because birds from previous releases defended feeding territories at the site of the release.
Ahuriri River area 2000-01
16 sub-adults released in Upper Ahuriri in September 2000. 20 juveniles released mid-Ahuriri River January 2001, 16 sub-adults released lower river, September 2001. Initial survival rates (over first 2 months) close to 100%. One body was recovered from lower river. Cause of death was bacterial infection probably associated with stress of release.
Tasman River area 2001
9 juveniles released in January and 22 sub-adults in September. Initial survival rates again excellent.
Godley River area 2002
31 juveniles released in January - February. Three died (bodies eaten by predators), and at least 6 birds have dispersed more than 10 km to nearby habitat.
Future releases will take place annually, with sites selected on the basis of numbers of adults already in the area, and numbers of released birds surviving in the present location. Pulse-releases of large numbers of birds at one site before moving to another is preferred, because it maximises the number of potential mates each kaki can find.
See Maloney & Murray (2000). Contact Richard Maloney (email@example.com).
Shore plover were formerly widespread around the New Zealand coastline, but disappeared in the 1800s following introduction of mammalian predators. They also occurred in the Chatham Islands (800 km to the east), and are still found there in on at least two predator-free locations. There are about 130 on Rangatira, or South East Island, and 21 birds were found on a small reef in 1999. There were three translocations of shore plover from Rangatira to predator-free Mangere Island (also in the Chathams) from 1970-73, but these birds mainly flew back to Rangatira after release. The emphasis subsequently shifted to establishing a captive population, to produce captive-reared birds that were thought more likely to stay at their release sites. After several years of trials, eggs taken from the wild now have a hatch rates of 100% and young have fledging rates of 95%. By 1994, the populations at the National Wildlife Centre (Mt Bruce) and Peacock Springs (Christchurch) were producing enough juveniles to attempt re-introduction, resulting in tranlocations to the following sites:
Motuora Island (ca.50 ha, inner Hauraki Gulf). A total of 75 captive-reared birds (from National Wildlife Centre) were released from 1994-99: 5 in September 1994, 15 in September 1995, 16 in February 1996, 17 in February 1997, 18 from December 1997 to February 1998, and 4 in June 1999. The released birds were a mix of hand-reared and parent-reared birds, and were a mix of adults and juveniles. Of the 53 birds released in the first 4 years, only 14 were still present one month after release, and a total of 8 were present in September 1997. The first breeding was recorded in 1998/99 when the two pairs present laid eggs, but neither produced fledglings. The one pair present in 1999/00 successfully fledged one young, which dispersed to a neighbouring island. Of the birds that disappeared after release, and whose fate could be determined (due to transmitters), 53% dispersed to other locations (neighbouring islands or adjacent coast) and 13% were taken by ruru, or morepork, a native owl. Observations of shore plover and ruru after release suggest that ruru may have been scaring shore plover from the island as well as successfully preying on them. The recovery group therefore decided to attempt a release to a site without ruru.
Island X (The 2nd release site is privately owned and the owners do not wish to attract publicity, hence is name is excluded). 15 hand-reared juveniles from the National Wildlife Centre were released in August 1998, and 10 juveniles (mostly parent-reared) were released in July 1999. Post-release mortality and dispersal has been much lower than on Motuora, and 14 of the 25 released birds were still present in March 2000. Breeding occurred in the second year, with 4 fledglings produced by 5 pairs.
See Aikman (1999) and O'Connor (2000).Contact Shaun O'Connor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Putauhinu Island (141 ha, off SW Stewart Island). On 16 April 2005, 30 Snares Island Snipe (C. a. buegili) from North East Island (Snares Islands) were released on Putauhinu. Patauhinu formerly had a population of the Stewart Island Snipe (C. a. iridalei), but this population is assumed to have been extirpated by the introduced cats and/or kiore on the island. The cats died out naturally in the 1960s and kiore were eradicated in 1996. The Stewart Island Snipe became extinct after ship rats invaded Big South Cape Island in the early 1960s (an attempt to translocate snipe from Big South Cape in August 1964 was unsuccessful). The translocation of Snares Island Snipe therefore represents a taxonomic substitution in terms of restoring the Putauhinu ecosystem, and also increases the distribution of Snares Island Snipe which is range restricted. The snipe were captured with handnets, and held in two aviaries until translocation. Contact Colin Miskelly (email@example.com).
Te Wharau (Eastern Wairarapa, southern North Island). 2 captive-reared birds from National Wildlife Centre released 1993. The idea was to see whether captive-reared birds could survive, to provide information for potential releases in the future. Birds were followed using radio-transmitters, confirming that they survived for at least several months. See Powlesland & Williams (1997).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. Ten kereru rehabilitated after injury have been released into the Sanctuary between 2002 and 2006. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Most were jessed with coloured flags to assist with identifying birds after release, but few confirmed observations of these birds have been made. Two pairs of kereru were observed to make courtship flights but breeding success was not confirmed until January 2006 when a kereru chick fledged from a nest in the Sanctuary. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The kakapo (photo D.Merton) is a large nocturnal flightless parrot. Kakapo originally found throughout the three main islands (North, South and Stewart Islands) of New Zealand, but declined due to predation by humans and introduced mammals. By the mid twentieth century, they were restricted to Fiordland (SW portion of the South Island) and Stewart Island. The first attempt to establish kakapo on a predator-free island was by Richard Henry, who translocated 350-400 birds to Resolution Island (Fiordland) in the 1890s and early 1900s. The population was subsequently exterminated by stoats that colonised Resolution Island soon after. Other early unsuccessful translocations included the release of 3 birds on Little Barrier Island in 1903 and 3 birds on Kapiti Island in 1912. Six kakapo were taken into captivity in the National Wildlife Centre in the early 1960s, but all turned out to be males and died in captivity. Kakapo were discovered to be lek breeders in the 1970s, and captive breeding was then deemed unlikely to succeed. The focus of the recovery program has therefore been to establish populations on predator-free islands. The translocations conducted are considered to be "conservation introductions" -- i.e., kakapo probably never occupied any of the islands historically but establishment on a predator-free island is now essential to save the species. It was further decided that all the Stewart Island population would be translocated, following research in the early 1980s showing rapid decline due to cat predation. The Fiordland population consisted of only a few old males by then and is now believed extinct. In addition to absence of predators, islands are selected on the basis of size (kakapo have large home ranges) and habitat quality.
Kakapo were initially translocated to Maud Island. Five birds from Fiordland (all male) and 4 birds from Stewart Island (3 female, 1 male) were translocated from 1974-1981. Little Barrier Island and Codfish Island then became the focus of the programme after predators were eradicated from these islands in the early 1980s (the only potential predator remaining was the kiore, or Polynesian rat). 18 birds (11 male, 7 female) were translocated from Stewart Island to Little Barrier in 1982. The 4 surviving Maud birds (2 male, 2 female) were translocated to Little Barrier the same year following stoats arriving on Maud (at 900 m offshore, it is marginally within swimming range of stoats). Translocations since the late 1980s are shown below.
Codfish Island/Whenua Hou (1396 ha, off NW Stewart Island). 30 birds (20 males, 10 females) were translocated from Stewart Island from 1987-92. One further female was discovered on Stewart Island in 1997, and she was also translocated to Codfish. Three males were bred on the island in 1997, and 3 females were translocated from Maud in 1997. Two males were moved to Pearl in 1997. The 30 remaining transmitterised birds were moved to Pearl, Anchorage and Maud Islands in April/May 1998 to prevent any poisoning during the August 1998 poison drop to eradicate kiore from the island (one male remained). All known females had been translocated to Codfish by 2001, so Codfish is now the only kakapo breeding site. Kakapo normally attempt breeding every 2-5 years, correlated with rimu masting, and a major mast year in 2001/02 resulted in a major breeding year with 26 chicks produced. While kakapo have had high survival on all predator-free islands (ca. 98% per annum), there has been little breeding until now and the 2001/02 breeding season has caused a major increase in the population.
Little Barrier Island/Hauturu (3083 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). No further birds were translocated to Little Barrier, and in 1998 the Kakapo Management Group and Kakapo Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee decided to remove all kakapo from the island. 16 of the 22 birds released in 1982 were still alive, giving an average survival rate over 98% per annum. However, there had been little breeding (two males raised on the island in 16 years), and successful breeding has only occurred when supplementary food was provided. The size and ruggedness of Little Barrier means that intensive management of kakapo is not practical there. Two were moved to Maud Island and 2 to Pearl Island in 1996, 2 to Codfish Island in 1997, and 6 to Maud and Nukuwaiata Islands in 1998. The last 6 birds (5 males, 1 female) were moved to Codfish Island in May 1999.
Maud Island (309 ha, in Marlborough Sounds off NE South Island). 6 birds (4 males, 2 females) were translocated from Stewart Island, 1989-91. The stoats that invaded in 1982 had been eradicated. All these birds have survived to 1999. The higher mortality following the 1974-81 translocations may have been due to extreme old age of the Fiordland males (4 of the 5 died within 3 years) and very poor condition of one Stewart Island female at the time of translocation (she died soon after release). 2 birds (1 female, 1 male) were translocated from Little Barrier in 1996, 4 birds (1 male, 3 female) from Little Barrier in 1998, and 2 birds (1 male, 1 female) from Codfish in 1998. One male was moved to Nukuwaiata in 1998. Three young (2 male, 1 female) were bred on Maud in 1998. All females were moved back to Codfish by July 2001.
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW of North Island). 2 males were translocated from Stewart Island in 1992. Mana is mammal-free, and has rank grassland and regenerating forest. Both males died, suggesting that Mana may currently be unsuitable habitat for kakapo. However, both birds were in very poor condition (about 1.5kg) when translocated.
Nukuwaiata/Inner Chetwode Island (195ha, in the Marlborough Sounds). Two males were translocated from Little Barrier and one male from Maud in 1998. The fertility/breeding fitness of these males is in question, so they are being used to test habitat suitability on Nukuwaiata.
Pearl Island (500 ha in Port Pegasus, Stewart Island). 2 males were translocated from Little Barrier and two males were translocated from Codfish in 1997. In 1998, these 4 were moved to Anchorage Island, and 26 birds (13 females, 13 males) were translocated to Pearl from Codfish Island. 5 of the 12 adult females on Pearl bred in early 1999. All were returned to Codfish in mid 1999.
Anchorage Island (160 ha in Port Pegasus, Stewart Island). 2 males were translocated from Codfish Island and 4 males (of dubious fertility) were translocated from Pearl Island in April-May 1998.
Contact Don Merton (email@example.com).
The kaka (photo R.Morris) is an endemic forest-dwelling parrot. Kaka were once widespread throughout the North and South Islands and offshore islands, but numbers have dwindled on the mainland. The main reasons for the decline of kaka on the mainland are habitat loss through deforestation, and introduced predators such as stoats. Kaka are cavity nesters, and research has shown that females are frequently killed at nest sites by predators as well as the nests being destroyed.
Mt Bruce Reserve (mainland forest reserve adjacent to National Wildlife Centre, Wairarapa). Reintroduction. 5 wild-caught juveniles from Kapiti and 4 captive-bred juveniles (hand reared at Mt Bruce) were release June 1996. 5 captive-bred birds (parent reared) were released in June 1997. 4 adult (3-11 years) captive birds (from other captive holders) were released in September 1999. Kaka were previously locally extinct in Mt Bruce reserve, presumably due to predation. The management at Mt Bruce involves supplementary feeding (feed stations at the National Wildlife Centre) and protection of nest sites. The released birds have generally had a high survival rate and have stayed within the reserve, probably drawn by the supplementary food. The initial release showed different behaviour between wild and captive-bred birds, captive-bred birds initially staying near the release site and using feeding stations, and wild birds dispersing more widely and initially mainly using natural foods (Berry 1998). The kaka started breeding in 1998/99, which was unexpected since normally do not breed until 4 years old. The first 3 nests were all attacked by predators, resulting in 2 females being killed and the other injured. Females were subsequently closely monitored to detect nests, and nests protedted by clearing the surrounding vegetation, attaching smooth metal sheets to the nest tree and placing fenn traps around nest sites. This resulted in 6 young being fledged (from 2 nests), 2 of which survived to the end of the breeding season and 4 which had died (3 killed by predators). There was no breeding in 1999/00, a year in which few kaka attempted breeding over the whole North Island. Kaka are breeding again in 2000/01, with nesting attempts being carefully monitored and artifical nest sites provided that should protect females from predators. The plan is to continue intensive nest site management until the population reaches 10 pairs, then attempt predator control over the main 50 hectare breeding area. Contact Raylene Berry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Northwest Nelson. Supplementation. Birds from Codfish Island released January 1999. Contact Ron Moorhouse (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. Eleven captive-reared kaka (4 unrelated clutches) have been released into the Sanctuary between 2002 and 2004. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). All carried transmitters on release to monitor survival and dispersal and some locally bred juveniles have also had transmitters attached. Supplementary feeding has been undertaken to encourage birds to stay within the Sanctuary and to be more easily observed. One pair bred in the first season (2002/3), and have bred every year since then. The breeding population has slowly increased, with breeding apparently limited by breeding age males - females have bred at one year old but the males have not bred until they are 2 years old, which is exciting given that kaka were originally thought to only breed at 3-4 years of age. In January 2003 an unbanded male arrived at the Sanctuary but didn’t breed until 2004/5 – he is the only known natural immigrant to the population. Breeding has occurred every year (8/9 pairs bred successfully in 2005/6) and successful double clutching has also occurred each year since 2002/3. Kaka have been increasingly seen in various parts of Wellington with some birds apparently ranging out of the Sanctuary to feed, and some deaths have been documented as a result, but at least 48 birds are known to have been in the Sanctuary in August/September 2006. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Maungatautari (3400 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), Waikato, North Island. Reintroduction. Seven kaka had been released as of December 2007. Captive-bred young birds are held in an on-site aviary for a period, then given access to the outside where outdoor feeders are deployed with the aim of keeping them from dispersing. The 4 females in the first group of 7 were radio-tagged, and those birds have gone further afield than expected following release and have not shown much interest in the feeders. Contact Chris Smuts-Kennedy (email@example.com).
Ecosanctuary (307 ha predator-fenced mainland site 20 km north of
Matiu/Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbour). 11 birds from Kapiti Island translocated February 2003, and additional 19 birds 21 April 2003. Breeding was detected in the 2003 cohort in October 2003, breeding began in the second cohort in July 2004. 15 birds were regularly seen in July 2004. Contact Lynn Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Long Island (142 ha scenic reserve, Marlborough Sounds). Reintroduction. 20 birds from Te Kakaho (Outer Chetwode Island) released February 2001. This species would have been present on the island before it was cleared of forest for farming. They were formerly very abundant on the adjacent mainland, and are still occasionally encountered in mature forest surrounding Queen Charlotte Sound. The island is now thought to have renerated sufficiently to support the species, and the reintroduction was part of the Nelson/Marlbourough island management plan (Millar & Gaze. 1997. DoC Occasional Publication 31). Birds were caught in mistnets set by artificial water supplies, held in aviaries up to 48 h, then transported in small boxes by boat, road, and boat to the release site (max 4.5 h in transit). All birds were individually colour banded, and 6 had blood samples taken for haematological assessment. They were very common on the island by 2007 when the population was harvested for reintroduction to Motuara Island (see below). Contact Peter Gaze (email@example.com).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Reintroduction. 26 birds translocated from Te kakaho Island (outer Chetwoods) 12 April 2004. 10 were female, 12 male and 4 sex unknown. 12 birds are regularly seen in Sept 2004. Contact Lynn Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Motuara Island (59 ha, Marlborough Sounds, off NE South Island). 45 birds of mixed sex were translocated from Long Island (see above) in January 07. Birds were caught in mist nets and released immediately after the 30 minute boat ride between islands. They bred within the first year and appear to have increased as of December 2008. Contact Bill Cash (email@example.com).
Orange-fronted parakeets were reintroduced to Chalky Island (Te Kakahu o Tamatea), Fiordland, when 31 captive-reared birds were released in December 2005 and February 2006. The birds were captive-bred juveniles from the Isaac Wildlife Trust’s Peacock Springs site. They were flown by plane to Invercarbill, then by helicopter to Chalky Island. Most birds were still alive when transmitters expired (six weeks after release?) and four pairs were found nesting in late March 2006. A more research search of the island found about 16 unbanded birds from the previous year's breeding. From Forest & Bird 320: 5 and Forest & Bird 323: 15..
Ulva Island (269 ha, Paterson Inlet, eastern side of Stewart Island). Reintroduction. In February 2003, 30 birds of mixed age and sex were translocated from Whenua hou / Codfish Island (West Coast of Stewart Island). Ulva Island consists of podocarp forest with coastal muttonbird scrub. Norway rats were eradicated from Ulva in 1995, and robins, mohua and saddlebacks have also been reintroduced. Birds were captured with mist nets (low sets), held in large transfer boxes and avaries, and fed meal worms for up to 2 nights prior to flying to Ulva for immediate. There was a large mortality (50%) during holding. However, at least 21 birds survived the first winter and produced 27 young during the 2003/2004 breeding season, and both founders and offspring bred in the second season. A simple deterministic matrix model at that stage indicated positive annual population growth (l = 1.33) and low risk of short-term extinction (Leech et al.2007). Contact Brent Beaven (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. 51 tomtits (39 males and 12 females) were translocated to the sanctuary between 2001 and 2004. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Most tomtits (36) were caught in the Akatarawas and were hard released the same day or a day after capture. Some (15) were caught on Kapiti Island and spent several days in captivity before transfer and hard release. Breeding in the Sanctuary was confirmed in 2003/4 (2 pairs) and has occurred annually since then (with nesting attempts by 7 females in 2005/6), but recruitment has been problematic despite good productivity (7.0 fledglings per pair in 2003/4, 6.5 in 2004/5 and 6.0 in 2005/6). The expansion of competitive robins in the Sanctuary has probably played a role in this because the tomtits have progressively shifted their territories to the sanctuary perimeter and outside (where few robins survive) and as a consequence has exposed tomtits to a higher predation risk when foraging and nesting outside the Sanctuary. However, predator trapping has begun since 2006 around much of the Sanctuary and this may improve tomtit survival. While the breeding of tomtits following a transfer was a significant breakthrough for the transfer of North Island tomtits, their future in the Sanctuary looks increasingly uncertain. Nevertheless additional birds will be transferred in future if possible to increase the possibility of successfully establishing tomtits in the vicinity of the sanctuary. Contact Raewyn Empson (email@example.com).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). Reintroduction. 32 birds (13 females, 19 males) from pine forests due to be felled in the Hunua Ranges, 60 km SE of Auckland, were released in April 2004. The reintroduction was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme. The birds were caught by a team of 21 people working 12 mistnets over a 2-day period, but this rapid capture was due to the birds being trained to take mealworms over a 6-month period. A key question for this reintroduction is whether the tomtits would be affected by competition from robins, which were reintroduced in 1992 and now have intense competition for territories. Consequently, robins were removed from several patches for translocation to Great Barrier Island (see below) prior to tomtits being released, and tomtits were released in both “robin-full” and “robin-free” areas to test the effect of competition. Robins colonised the empty areas fairly rapidly and tomtits have been difficult to find in any area. Nevertheless, secretive tomtits continue to be sighted occasionally, and it is too early to assess the success of the reintroduction. One male is definitely no longer on the island, as he has returned to his territory in the Hunuas! Contact Barbara Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ocean Beach Wildlife Preserve (2200-ha managed area on Cape Kidnappers Peninsula, Hawkes Bay, North Island). Supplementation. 14 birds (9 males, 5 females) were released in June 2007. There were still some tomtits in the reserve, so the tomtit translocation constitutes re-stocking (or supplementation) rather than a reintroduction. Disease screening or quarantine procedures were not required, so the birds could be released the same day or the next day after they were caught. Contact Tamsin Ward-Smith (Cape.Kidnappers@xtra.co.nz).
Tuku Nature Reserve. From Rangatira Island
The North Island robin (photo D.Armstrong) was once found all over the North Island, but are now restricted to the central North Island and patchily distributed. They are strongly affected by predation, but have been able to hold on in the presence of predators better than some other species. Robins have been reintroduced to several offshore islands, and are now the first species being reintroduced as part of mainland restoration programs (for review see article in the Bird Issue of Reintroduction News). Reintroductions since 1990 include:
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). Reintroduction. Translocation from the Mamaku Plateau in 1991 (see Jansen 1994). Mokoia was cleared for agriculture but the forest has now been naturally regenerating for 40-50 years. Norway rats and goats were eradicated in 1989. The reintroduction was part of the Mokoia Island restoration programme. The robin population has not been researched, but there now appears to be a large population covering most of the island. Birds have now been harvested for translocation to Moturoa and Tuhua Islands (see below).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraku Gulf east of Auckland). Reintroduction. 44 birds translocated from the Mamauku Plateau, April 1992. A further 14 birds were translocated in June 1993. Tiri was mostly cleared for agriculture, but retained some small bush patches. Most of the cleared portions were planted with native trees from 1983-95. Robins are not recorded from the island, but are presumed to have occurred there historically. The reintroduction was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme, although it was originally planned to take place when the planted forest was more mature. The population has been closely monitored since its reintroduction, and is being used as a case study of how small populations are regulated. Most robin territories occur in mature remnant patches, amounting to about 15 ha of habitat, and these support about 35 pairs. However, they have recently begun to expand into revegetated areas planted from 1984-1994, and the population was over 40 pairs in the 2002/03 and 2003/04 breeding seasons. The population has been harvested for translocations to Wenderholm (1999), Windy Hill Sanctuary (2004), Glenfern Sanctuary (2005) and Tawharanui (2007), and these harvests are being used to experimentally study density dependence and assess the levels at which small island populations can be sustainably harvested. Contact Doug Armstrong.
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Reintroduction. 27 robins from Kapiti Island were released in June 1995 and a further 39 in June 1996. The population is now well established. The reintroduction was part of the Mana Island Ecological Restoration Programme. Contact Colin Miskelly (email@example.com).
Trounson Kauri Park (managed mainland area, Northland, North Island). Robins released 1998. The population is now extinct. Contact Nigel Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Boundary Stream Mainland Island (ca. 800 ha managed mainland area, Hawkes Bay, near east coast of North Island). Reintroduction/Supplementation. 28 birds from Tarawera Conservation Area (50 km to the west) released 31 March - 8 May 1998. Birds were released within 7 hours of capture. The aims were to restore part of the reserve's original biodiversity, and use robins to show that there is a "functional indigenous ecosystem" following management. There was at least one solitary male in the reserve before translocation, but this may have been the only robin remaining. Control of rats, cats, mustelids and possums over the previous two years had reduced these predators to low levels, with the aim of improving habitat suitability for robins and other species that may be reintroduced. The robin population had expanded to about 60 birds by the 2000 breeding season, and estimates of nest success (Armstrong et al., N.Z.J.Ecology 2002) suggest predators are being managed effectively. Contact Steve Cranwell (email@example.com).
Wenderholm Regional Park (managed mainland Peninsula north of Auckland). Reintroduction. 21 birds were translocated from Tiritiri Matangi Island, 3-6 March 1999. The founder group consisted of 6 pairs, 3 unpaired males, 1 unpaired female, and 5 juveniles. The size and composition of the founder group was selected to allow us to test whether juvenile survival on Tiri is limited by habitat availability (Dimond 2001). The translocation therefore provides a case study of how island populations (even small ones) can potentially be sustainably harvested for translocation to the mainland. Research to date suggests that the population is hanging on but not growing, and is limited by poor juvenile recruitment. Contact Tim Lovegrove (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Paengaroa Mainland Island (101 ha managed forest block, near Taihape, North Island). Reintroduction. 40 birds were translocated from plantation pines in Waimarino Forest (near Raetihi) from 25-31 March 1999. There was initially a predator control programme in place (using talon cereal baits), but this was stopped in May 2002. Research indicates that reproduction and female survival is strongly affected by rat levels, and that tracking rates need to be maintained at less than about 10% for the population to survive. The population had declined to 4 pairs by September 2004, and to 2 females and 1 male by December 2008. No robins were found in January 2010, and the population is probably now extinct. Contact Doug Armstrong.
Kakepuku Mountain (200 ha mainland forest reserve, south Waikato, North Island). Reintroduction. 30 birds from Pureora forest released in June 1999. Robins would have been there historically, as it is part of their original rang. The local community has been conducting a poisoning campaign since spring 1995 to reduce rats and possums. At least 13 birds survived until November, and fledglings were seen over summer. Contact the Kakepuku Mountain Reserve Management Committee (c/- Jan and Laurie Hoverd, RD3 Te Awamutu Ph:07 8718071).
Moturoa Island (140 ha, Bay of Islands). 19 robins from Mokoia Island (population established in 1991, see above) released 2 June 1999. The island is privately owned. Contact Keith Owen (email@example.com).
Mangaokewa Reserve (200 ha managed mainland site near Te Kuiti). Reintroduction. 30 birds from Waipapa Ecological Area released 18-20 March 2001. Contact Phil Bradfield (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Barnett Reserve (23 ha) and Stephenson covenant (4 ha, with addition 5 ha reserve adjacent) (mainland remnants near Waotu, Waikato, North Island). Reintroduction. 30 birds from Waipapa Ecological Area (Pureora State Forest) released in these two mainland remnants 24-31 May 2001. 20 birds (about 11 male, 9 female) released in Barnett Reserve and adjacent covenant, and 10 birds (about 6 male, 4 female) released on Stephenson's convenant, about 700 m away separated by pasture. Barnett Bush became a reserve in 1992. A group of 6 community members has been doing possum control since 1993, and rat control (50 x 50m bait stations maintained late winter and March) since 2000. There is little sign of mustelids, and cats will be searched for in June 2001. A similar, but more intensive regime is in place at the nearby Stephenson's covenant, and the whole district has had possum, mustelid and magpie control. MSc student Dave Pattemore (Auckland University) is studying post-release dispersal of these birds in comparison to a similar sized founder group released into continuous bush in the Hunua ranges (see below). Contact Gordon Stephenson (email@example.com) about the community led restoration program, Tim Lovegrove (firstname.lastname@example.org) re the translocation, and Dave Pattemore (email@example.com) re subsequent monitoring.
Hunua Ranges (600 ha mainland island SE of Auckland, part of 17,000 ha continguous forest). Reintroduction. 30 birds from Waipapa Ecological Area (Pureora State Forest) released 24-31 May 2001. These were divided into groups of 10 and 20 birds released 1 km apart in the contiguous forest of the managed kokako block, which is under intensive pest control. Contact Tim Lovegrove (firstname.lastname@example.org), Auckland Regional Council.
Bushy Park Reserve (87 ha predator-fenced forest block near Whanganui). Reintroduction. 28 robins (approximately 21 male, 7 female) from Winstone International Forest (near Raetihi, Central North Island) were released 25-28 August 2001, before the fence was in place. Reintroduction was done to restore a component of the reserve's fauna, to test the habitat for potential reintroduction of other more vulnerable birds, and to provide eduation opportunities. Robins bred soon after release and produced at least 14 young in the 2001/02 breeding season, but produced few young in subsequent years and number of females had dropped to 2-3 by August 2004. Decline of reintroduced population associated with high nest predation rate despite attempts to control rats using snap traps. Rat management was increased by putting the Racumen (Donated by Bayer) at 25m intervals around most of the boundary and also at 100m intervals between traps for a knock down during winter, and an additional 18 robins (7 male, 11 female) were tranlocated in August 2004, but it is unknown whether this additional management would have allowed the population to grow. A predator-proof fence was completed in May 2005, and exotic mammalian predators eradicated, resulting in subsequent rapid growth of the robin population to high density. Contact Terry O'Connor (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence, central Wellington). Reintroduction. 40 birds from Kapiti Island were released in 2001 (38 in May, 2 in August), and 36 additional birds were released in May 2002. Robins became extinct in the Wellington area about 100 years ago. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Robins were caught in clap traps or mist nets, held in cardboard boxes, translocated by helicopter or boat and road, and released within 48 hours of capture. The population was intensively monitored for 4 years and has had high survival and productivity. Despite an increased risk of dispersal following release compared to offshore islands, survival after transfer was good: 75% of robins transferred in 2001 bred in their first year at the Sanctuary compared to 56% of those transferred in 2002. Productivity has also been good with an average of 3.6 fledglings per pair produced in 2001/2 and 2002/3, 3.2 in 2003/4 and 4.2 in 2004/5. An estimated 100 pairs were spread throughout most of the Sanctuary by mid 2005 when monitoring stopped. While robins are found outside the Sanctuary, their survival has been problematic but could improve with predator trapping occurring around much of the Sanctuary since 2006. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tuhua/Mayor Island (1277ha, Bay of Plenty). Reintroduction. 42 birds from Mokoia Island (see above) were released May 2003. Robins were previously recorded there but had become extinct in the last 30 years. Their extinction was presumably due to predation by Norway rats, which were eradiated in winter 2000 along with kiore, feral pigs and feral cats. Tuhua comproses mainly pohutukawa/hardwood forest with shrublands and wetlands and has considerable potential for ecological restoration. Robins were widespread by 2007. Contact John Heaphy (email@example.com).
Windy Hill Sanctuary, Great Barrier Island. Reintroduction. 30 robins from Tiritiri Matangi Island translocated April 2004. Robins have been absent from Aotea for about 140 years, and have been released to an area where predators have been controlled to low numbers by the local community. The birds came from the closely-monitored population on Tiritiri Matangi, and pre-feeding of the target birds meant that the birds were captured in less than 24 hours. There were 4 known pairs in the reserve during the first (2004/05) breeding season, plus one additional male. These produced 13 fledglings. Contact Judy Gilbert (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Forest Fragments near Benneydale (Central North Island). Robins were reintroduced to 13 forest fragments on private land near Benneydale from 2005-2007. The reintroductions were part of a Marsden-funded research project testing whether declines of native species from forest fragments were attributable to metapopulation dynamics, and could therefore be remedied by translocation. A total of 135 robins were translocated to fragments ranging from 6-49 ha, all with apparently suitable habitat based on a range of measures. Although many birds dispersed from the release fragments, 36 birds established in these fragments (i.e., present for at least one breeding season), and breeding pairs were established in 11 of the 13 fragments. This led to a total of 80 different adult robins being found in these fragments over the next 3 breeding seasons, and we compared their survival and reproduction to that of 112 robins monitored in 11 naturally-occupied fragments. The overall reproduction rates were almost identical for the two groups of fragments (1.48 independent young per female per year). However, survival was significantly lower in the reintroduction fragments, with annual survival probability estimated to be 0.63 and 0.53 for males and females respectively, in comparison to 0.74 and 0.66 and in the naturally-occupied fragments. We estimated the finite rate of increase, l, to be 1.06 and 0.88 for the two groups of fragments, suggesting that the robin population can maintain itself (l > 1) in the naturally-occupied fragments but not at the reintroduction sites. These results suggest that the initial absences from the reintroduction sites were not due to isolation alone, but also due to subtle differences in habitat quality causing reduced survival in robins. Contact Doug Armstrong.
Glenfern Sanctuary, Great Barrier Island Island. On 3-4 April 2005, 27 robins from Tiritiri Matangi Island were translocated to Glenfern Sanctuary on the Kotuku Peninsula (near Port Fitzroy) of Great Barrier Island. Robins are assumed to have been extirpated from Great Barrier by rats and cats (there are no mustelids), and this is the second reintroduction to a predator-control area on Great Barrier (the first was to the Windy Hill catchment in 2004). Rats and cats are controlled over the whole peninsula, with a total area of about 260 ha. This area includes Glenfern Sanctuary. Most of the birds were adults (16 males, 10 females) of known history on Tiritiri Matangi, and one bird was a juvenile. This is the third translocation from the reintroduced robin population on Tiritiri Matangi, and this population is being used to study the effects of harvesting on source populations (Dimond & Armstrong in press, Conservation Biology). Eleven of the translocated robins have been found since the start of the breeding season, and these have formed 5 pairs. These had produced 10 fledglings by midway through the breeding season (early December). See the Glenfern Sanctuary website or contact Tony Bouzaid (email@example.com) or for updates on the translocated robins, and contact Doug Armstrong for information on adaptive harvesting of source populations.
Ark in the Park (1100 ha predator control area, Waitakere Ranges near Auckland, North Island). Reintroduction. 53 robins from Mokoia Island were released In April 2005. Robins would have occurred in this area previously, but are assumed to have been extirpated by introduced mammals, particularly rats and stoats. These predators are now controlled over a 1000 ha area, and it is planned to extend this to 2000 ha. Rats are controlled by brodifacoum bait stations at 50 m intervals in lines 100 m apart, and mustelid trapping is carried out on road boundaries and along tracks. In addition cage traps are set for feral cats. Six pairs were detected and monitored in 2005/06 and had good breeding success, and 5 pairs were being monitored in 2006/07. Contact Maj de Poorte (M.dePoorter@forestandbird.org.nz).
Matiu/Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbour). On 5 April 2006, 21 North Island robins from Kapiti Island were hard released on Matiu/Somes Island. Matiu/Somes Island is a 24.9ha pest free (since rodent eradication in 1989) scientific reserve that lies in Wellington Harbour. The island was cleared for grazing in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, displacing many of the original plants and animals. Lower Hutt Forest and Bird have led an intensive revegetation programme (since 1981), aiming to re-establish the coastal forest community that would have existed on the island. While there are no historical records of robins on Matiu/Somes it is assumed they would have been present as they were once widespread in the Wellington region. Robins were caught with clap traps from locations at both ends of Kapiti I. to maximise genetic diversity. Plumage colour and tarsus measurements were used to ensure an even mix of male and females were transferred. Existing pairs were caught where possible. Six pairs have nested on Matiu/Somes this season, producing a total of six fledglings by early November 2006. Contact Andrew Morrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Open Sanctuary (588-ha predator fenced peninsula 90 km N of
Auckland). Reintroduction. On 16 March 2007, 21
Ocean Beach Wildlife Preserve (2200-ha managed area on Cape Kidnappers Peninsula, Hawkes Bay, North Island). Reintroduction. 35 birds from nearby Maungataniwha Pine forest were released in June 2007. A 9.5 km predator-proof fence across the peninsula is due to be completed soon, and predator trapping and poison bait stations are being used to reduce densities of rats, cats, mustelids and hedgehogs. The reserve is on private land (Cape Kidnappers Station, Haupouri Station and Ocean Bay Wilderness), so the restoration is being done in conjunction with farming, a golf course and other recreation activities. Disease screening or quarantine procedures were not required, so the birds could be released the same day or the next day after they were caught. Contact Tamsin Ward-Smith (Cape.Kidnappers@xtra.co.nz).
South Island robins (photo D. Armstong) face similar threats to North Island robins. Before 1990 there were successful reintroductions of South Island robins to Motuara and Allports Islands (Marlborough Sounds) and Hawea Islands (Fiordland), and unsuccessful reintroductions to Maud Island (Marlborough Sounds), and Entry Island (Fiordland) and the Conway River area (North Canterbury) (see article in the Bird Issue of Reintroduction News). Reintroductions since 1990 include:
Hinewai Reserve (Banks Peninsula). About 15(?) robins from Motuara Island (Marlborough Sounds) were released in 1994. These birds had been trained to recognise predators, and the idea was to determine whether such birds could be used for reintroduction to the mainland. There was no predator control or other intensive management, and the robins disappeared within 6 months. Contact Ian McLean (email@example.com).
Doubtful Island 2 (30 ha, smallest of three Doubtful Islands, middle fiord of Lake Te Anau, Fiordland). Reintroduction. 19 birds from Breaksea Island (Fiordland) released March 2002. Part of restoration of Doubtful Island group, involving eradication of stoats and control on adjacent mainland areas. Contact Murray Willans (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anchor Island (1140 ha, Dusky Sound, Fiordland). 34 birds from Breaksea island, October 2002, and an additional 32 birds from Breaksea Island, April 2004. Contact Andrew "Max" Smart (email@example.com).
Erin Island (67 ha Lake Te Anau, Fiordland). Reintroduction. South Island saddlebacks were released on Erin Island (67 ha in Lake Te Anau, Fiordland) in September 2003 (18 birds) and April 2004 (20 birds). The island had been cleared of stoats since November 2001, but a juvenile stoat was trapped there in July 2003 and stoat control was intensified on the island and the adjacent mainland before the release. The initial 18 birds had all disappeared by the time of the second release, whereas 7 birds from the second release survived for one year. One pair bred in 2004/05 and 3 pairs bred in 2005/06, increasing the population to 17 birds as of February 2006. However, no saddlebacks were observed in a survey in June 2006, and monitoring since September 2006 has confirmed that there are none left. The potential causes of disappearance include: 1) reinvasion and subsequent predation by one or more stoats, although no stoats were caught in the 16 stoat traps on the island; 2) predation by native NZ falcons, which have been observed in the area; and 3) inadequate food supply especially in autumn-winter, the period when both groups of birds disappeared. The possibility of a limited food supply on Erin I. is partly supported by the observation that all saddlebacks settled in small patches of podocarp forest, where insect abundance and diversity may have been greater than in the main beech forest, which covers > 80% of island. Food shortage could have directly caused starvation or resulted in dispersal to the adjacent mainland where rats and stoats are common. Contact Ian Jamieson (firstname.lastname@example.org), University of Otago.
Putauhinu Island (141 ha, off SW Stewart Island). Reintroduction. 15 birds from Pohowaitai Island released March 1999. Part of island restoration following removal of cats and kiore. In Nobember 1999, the robins had dispersed widely and had bred. Contact Peter McClelland (email@example.com).
Ulva Island (269 ha, Paterson Inlet, eastern side of Stewart Island). Reintroduction. 18 birds from Freshwater catchment of Stewart Island (18 km west of Ulva Island) were released September 2000 to February 2001. Part of island restoration following eradication of rats (see entry for South Island saddlebacks). The University of Otago has monitored the robins since release. At the end of the 2003/2004 breeding season, the population comprised 42 adults (including 11 of the founder birds) and 34 juveniles. A look at bird pedigrees on Ulva Island has revealed that 46 of 49 robin offspring are decended from one breeding pair. This is mainly due to the initial breeding success of this pair after translocation. Contact Brent Beaven (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pitt Island (Chatham Island Group). Reintroduction. In February 2004, 20 black robins (about 14 male, 6 female) from Rangatira Nature Reserve on South East Island were released in a predator-fenced area on Pitt Island, Chatham Islands group. The fenced area is 40 ha, and is within the 53-ha Ellen Elizabeth Preece Conservation Covenant (EEPCC), which covers 53 ha of mixed broadleaf coastal forest, including kopi, matipo, karamu, hoho and ribbonwood, with areas of grassland. It has been stock fenced for nine years and has regenerated to the type of forest habitat where black robins would have been found historically. Black robin previously occurred only on two small islands, so returning the species to one of the larger islands in the Chatham group is essential in order to provide suitable habitat for the population to expand. Any new site for black robin must be free of cats, and both cats and weak were eradicated from within the fenced area. The 40 ha that is predator-fenced is thought to be sufficient to sustain a new robin population (8 ha of bush on Mangere Island supports a population of over 50 black robins, although the density will probably be lower than on Mangere due to the presence of mice and absence of seabirds). Robins were caught using clap traps, held in a temporary aviary (c. 4m x 4m) on Rangatira until there were up to 10 birds and a period of calm weather for transportation, then transported by boat to Pitt. The birds were transported in cardboard cat boxes (two per box, separated by cardboard divider), then held in pre-release aviaries (6m x 4m and c. 2m high, with 10 birds in each) for 2-4 weeks. Contact Adam Bester (email@example.com).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). 40 birds from Little Barrier Island released September 1989, and another 40 released May 1990. The translocation was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme, and was also used to study the effect of familiarity following translocation (Armstrong et al., 1994). In both translocations, 2 groups of familiar birds and 2 groups of unfamiliar birds were created and the 4 groups released in different places on Tiritiri Matangi. The groups largely disbanded following translocation, regardless of familiarity, and survival was similar for familiar and unfamiliar groups. Whereas birds on Little Barrier breed in groups with helpers, most birds bred in pairs without helpers following release on Tiritiri Matangi. Whiteheads are now extremely abundant in most bush patches on Tiritiri Matangi.
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. 30 whiteheads from Kapiti Island were released in August 2001, and another 33 were released in 2002 (30 from Kapiti in May and 3 from the Akatarawas in August). The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Nine pairs bred successfully in their first breeding season, all producing 2 clutches of 1-4 chicks each. In total at least 35 fledglings were produced (3.9 fledglings/pair). In the 2002/3 breeding season 18 pairs were located inside the Sanctuary, most comprising at least 1 bird bred in the Sanctuary in 2001/02, but 9 pairs remained unchanged from the previous season. 17 of the 19 pairs produced fledglings, with at least 59 fledglings produced (3.1 fledglings/pair). Most only had 1 clutch but 7 of the 9 established pairs and two new pairs had 2 clutches. One pair was located outside the sanctuary, in Birdwood Reserve and produced 2 fledglings. The second transfer into the sanctuary (now with a resident whitehead population) was not as successful as the first transfer -69% birds transferred in 2001 bred in the first year after release compared with 18% of the birds transferred in 2002 – dispersal away from the sanctuary by the newly released birds may have been high because there was already a resident whitehead population. A colour-banded bird was later identified in a Porirua Reserve c 17 km away. The habitat preferred by whiteheads in the Sanctuary appears to be mature mahoe forest with emergent trees such as pines. Whiteheads are now spread throughout most of the Sanctuary and have expanded into surrounding areas (Wrights hill and Polhill Gully). Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Karori Sanctuary.
Hunua Ranges (600 ha mainland island SE of Auckland, part of 17,000 ha continguous forest). Reintroduction. About 40 birds from Tiritiri Matangi Island were released in April 2003. The area is under intensive pest control. Whiteheads are thought to have been absent from the Hunuas since about 1880. Contact Tim Lovegrove, Auckland Regional (Tim.Lovegrove@arc.govt.nz).
Ark in the Park (1100 ha predator control area, Waitakere Ranges near Auckland, North Island). Reintroduction. 55 whiteheads from Tiritiri Matangi Island were releaed in August 2004. The species is very difficult to monitor in a large area such as the Ark in the Park. However, a pair was known to breed at a nearby restoration project at Karekare, and 4 whiteheads seen in 2006 in the Pararaha Valley in Karekare (ca. 12 km from the core of the Ark area). The latter area had recently been added to a buffer predator control zone to protect shore nesting birds on the West Coast (by volunteer group “Friends of Whatipu” in association with the Auckland Regional Council, and the pair previously detected also received predator control thanks to the efforts of dedicated locals. Contact Sandra Jack, Ark in the Park (email@example.com).
Tawharanui Open Sanctuary (588-ha predator fenced peninsula 90 km N of Auckland). Reintroduction. On 31 March 2007, 45 whiteheads, comprising 22 males (17 ads, 5 juvs) and 23 females (19 ads, 4 juvs), captured on Tiritiri Matangi, were released in the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary. The 550 ha Open Sanctuary is protected by a pest-proof fence and key mammalian predators such as rats, mustelids, cats and possums have been removed. The whitehead population on Tiritiri is very large and the low forest and plantings make catching easy, so the island is a good source of whiteheads for translocations. A pre-transfer sample of 20 was screened for diseases two weeks before the translocation. No blood parasites were found and tests were negative for Salmonella, Yersinia and Coccidia. Two birds had Hipposboscid flies. No blood parasites were detected in a sample of 20/45 of the transfer birds and tests were negative for Salmonella and Yersinia in all 45 birds. Coccidia oocysts were found in 10/43 transfer birds. There were Hipposboscid flies on four birds. No external lesions or injuries were seen. The birds handled captivity in the aviary on Tiritiri very well and they were easy to feed. During the translocation, some birds did not settle while being held overnight before release at Tawharanui, and four had to be removed from one transfer box and held individually in cotton bags the rest of the night. Despite this, there was no mortality during the translocation. A split release design was used with sound anchoring at one of the release sites. The birds were caught in two locations about 1 km apart on Tiritiri and the two release sites at Tawharanui were similarly spaced. The whiteheads were individually colour-banded as well as having a separate cohort colour for each release site. Twenty-three birds were released near four sound anchoring speakers, which played whitehead songs and calls for 14 days after release, while the remaining 22 birds had no sound anchors at their release site. There was no evidence that the birds were attracted to the sound anchors and birds from the two release sites intermixed freely after release. Since release the birds have dispersed widely through several of the major forest patches inside the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary, and 26/45 birds have been resighted. By October, a number of males were singing on territories, and by the end of January 2008, at least four nests had successfully fledged young. During 2008, both founding and locally-bred whiteheads were regularly observed in various places in the Open Sanctuary, and monitoring suggests that they have become established in most of the larger forest patches at Tawharanui. The first young of the 2008-09 season were recorded in early December. Contact Tim Lovegrove, Auckland Regional (Tim.Lovegrove@arc.govt.nz).
Centre Island(15 ha, Lake Te Anau, Fiordland). 6 birds from Eglington Valley, Fiordland, released October 1992. Contact Graeme Elliot (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Breaksea Island (170 ha, Fiordland). Reintroduction. 32 birds translocated from the Blue Mountains, October 1996. Breaksea is within the historical range of mohua, and Norway rats were found on Breaksea until they were eradicated in 1988. Mohua are therefore likely to have been on Breksea earlier, although this isn't documented. Contact Peter McClelland (email@example.com).
Ulva Island (269 ha, Paterson Inlet, eastern side of Stewart Island). Reintroduction. 27 birds of mixed age and sex were translocated from the Blue Mountains (West Otago), October 2001. Ulva Island consists of podocarp forest with coastal muttonbird scrub. There is one record of Mohua from Stewart Island in the late 1800s, suggesting that they would have originally occurred on Ulva as well. Norway rats were eradicated from Ulva in 1995, and robins and saddlebacks have also been reintroduced. While reinvasion by rats is an ongoing issue, there is a trap/bait network set up to control this. Ulva is an open sanctuary (free public access), so the reintroduction will enhance advocacy as well as assessing whether Mohua can survive in podocarp forest and hopefully providing an insurance population for the species. Birds were captured with mist nets (high and low sets), held in large transfer boxes, and fed meal worms for up to 2 nights prior to flying to ulva for hard release. The birds dispersed across the entire island, and even colonised small neighbouring islands with stunted scrub forest. Mohua are clearly capable of respectable flights across open water (300m +), and this should be considered in future translocations. Since release the mohua have produced at least 20 offspring, and the estimated population is now 44. Five birds had colonised an islet of less than 1 ha, where they successfully raised three offspring in a low forest comprised of tree fern and muttonbird scrub. These birds were relocated to Ulva Island prior to last breeding season. Contact Brent Beaven (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Chalky Island (511 ha, Chalky Inlet, Fiordland). 35 birds from Breaksea March 2002. Contact Andrew "Max" Smart (email@example.com).
Anchor Island (1140 ha, Dusky Sound, Fiordland). 24 birds from Breaksea October 2002. Contact Andrew "Max" Smart (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). North Island fernbird were translocated to Tiritiri Matangi in June – August 2001 (13 birds) and June – July 2002 (12 birds). The birds were all sourced from an area of scrubland behind Orewa, which is being cleared for road construction. Territorial birds were located, and then captured using low set nets and locally recorded lure calls. Birds were individually held in insulated translocation boxes that were heavily lined with vegetation. They were provided with water and live invertebrates (mealworms, wax moth larvae, cricket and grasshopper nymphs). Most were transported by boat or helicopter to Tiritiri Matangi within 6 h of capture. However, nine birds were successfully held for 18-24 h. All birds were alive at release on Tiritiri. Fernbird were rarely seen in the two years following release. However, nests have been detected each breeding season since 2001/2002, unbanded birds are abundant, and the most recent survey (November 2005) shows a minimum population of 60 birds is present on the island. It is unknown if fernbird were historically present on Tiritiri Matangi but the translocation was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme. Contact Kevin Parker (email@example.com).
Ulva Island (269 ha, Paterson Inlet, eastern side of Stewart Island). Reintroduction. In October 2004, 30 birds of mixed age and sex were translocated from Mason Bay Area of Stewart Island. Ulva Island consists of podocarp forest with coastal muttonbird scrub. Norway rats were eradicated from Ulva in 1995, and robins, mohua, riflemen and saddlebacks have also been reintroduced. Birds were captured with mist nets (low sets), held in transfer boxes, and fed wax moth larvae prior to flying to Ulva for hard release within five hours of capture. Two birds died during capture. Contact Brent Beaven (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kaimohu Island (15 ha, off SW Stewart Island). Introduction. Translocated from Codfish Island, January 1997. The introduction was to safeguard the subspecies, and there is no historical record of fernbirds on Kaimohu. The population did not survive on Kaimohu, which may be due to the small size of the island. Contact Peter McClelland (email@example.com).
Putauhinu Island (141 ha, off SW Stewart Island). Introduction. 23 birds translocated from Codfish Island, November 1997 - January 1998 (4 groups). The previous fernbird population on Putauhinu (off SW Stewart Island) was exterminated by kiore and cats, both of which have been eradicated. The main reason for the reintroduction was to safeguard the subspecies. During preparations for the kiore eradication on Codfish Island (which took place in August 1998) it was found that fernbirds were at considerable risk from aerial brodifacoum poison operations. Contact Peter McClelland (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kokako (photo R.Morris) were historically found all over the North and South Islands. There have been no confirmed sightings of the South Island race for many years, but the North Island race survived in less modified areas of forest. Translocations have been to reintroduce kokako to islands where they are assumed to have existed previously (Little Barrier, Kapiti, Tititiri Matangi), to reintroduce kokako to managed mainland islands (Trounson), or to save remnant mainland populations (Hunua, Pikiariki/Pureora). Remnant mainland populations consist largely of old, single males, presumably due to predation of females on nests. Therefore, young females are translocated from healthy, managed populations. There are several further translocations planned to managed mainland areas where kokako have been extinct for several decades. Future translocations may also take into account the genetic health of populations. Contact Ian Flux (email@example.com) for information on the whole programme.
Kapiti Island (1965 ha, off SW of North Island). Reintroduction. A total of 32 kokako were released from 1991-1997. These include: 6 birds translocated from Western Waikato forest remnants (Hauturu trig, Osbornes, Te Raumoa), 1991/1992; 2 from Makino Forest (Taranaki) 1993; 5 from Manawahe (Bay of Plenty) 1993; 7 (1 or 2 females) from LBI in 1995 and 1996; 5 (3 male, 2 female) from Mapara to Kapiti in Oct/Nov 1996; and 7 captive-reared kokako (from Mt Bruce, of Northern King Country/Rangitoto stock). There have been no subsequent translocations as of August 2001. In 2000/01, there were 7 breeding pairs and 7 young were fledged which is a particularly successful year for the island. A survey in May 2003 suggested there were > 40 kokako then, including at least 13 pairs.
Trounson Kauri Park (managed mainland area, Northland, North Island). Reintroduction. The area may now be suitable due to a predator control program. 2 adults released in 1994(?). One of these has been seen regularly over the past 5 years. Two further adults released during 1997(?) but moved into neighbouring Marlborough Forest. 2 juveniles from Matarua released Dec/Jan 1999. Contact Nigel Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland).Reintroduction. Tiri has undergone a revegetation programme since 1983, and had kiore eradicated in 1993. This reintroduction is part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme. Nevertheless, the island has much less mature forest than other places where kokako persist, so the reintroduction is partially a trial to test their habitat requirements. Two females from Mapara and one male from Mt Bruce were released in August 1997 (one of the females preyed on a few days after release). 4 juvenile males from Mt Bruce released in March 1998. The birds from Mt Bruce were captive bred from North King Country/Rangitoto stock. A female from Mt Bruce (originally from Taranaki) was released in 2000.
Pikiariki. Supplementation. Three (one male, 2 females) from Mapara,
Hunua Range. Supplementation. Four females from Mapara (King country, central North Island) were translocated to the Hunua Ranges in April 1998 to supplement the existing population. 14 further kokako from Mapara were translocated to the Hunuas in August-September 2006 to supplement the existing kokako population, which was thought to consist of about 10 pairs. Calls of Mapara dialect kokako were played over a loudspeaker system at the release site in the hope that this would encourage translocated birds to stay at the site. I don't know whether birds were released between 1998 and 2006.
Boundary Stream Mainland Island (ca. 800 ha of managed lowland
broadleaf-podocarp forest, Hawkes Bay Region, North Island). Reintroduction.
Since 1996 introduced predators have been managed, including the principal threats to kokako (possums, rats, mustelids and cats) which are kept at consistently low levels in the reserve. This has been achieved through an initial 1080 application, poisoning using bait stations, and mustelid trapping. BSMI is within the known historic range of the North Island kokako, which was once common in the area but extirpated by the late 1800s. North Island kokako were initially brought into captivity at BSMI in 2001, when 10 birds (5 males, 5 females) from Otamatuna (Te Urewera National Park) were placed in 5 aviaries (14 x 7 x 5 m each, one pair per aviary). The main objective was to release progeny of these pairs after fledging, with the hope that they remain in the managed area and establish a population. The first fledglings were produced when two pairs bred in the 2003/04 breeding season, and these were released in May 2004. It was also decided to release the adults in the hope that the would remain in the area after having been held in captivity for so long, hence the 3 pairs that had never bred were released in February 2004 and the 2 remaining pairs released in August 2004. All released kokako remained within the reserve, although the fate of two males is unknown. 8 fledglings were produced in 2004/05 season, 5 in 2005/06 and 5 in 2006/07. In August-September 2007, a further 10 kokako (5 males, 5 females) were translocated from Otamatuna and released immediately into the reserve. The aim of this follow-up translocation was to increase the genetic diversity of the population. Contact Kahori Nakagawa (email@example.com), Denise Fastier (firstname.lastname@example.org), or John Adams (email@example.com).
Mt Bruce Reserve (mainland forest reserve adjacent to National Wildlife Centre, Wairarapa). 5 kokako (sexes not yet confirmed) from Mangatutu (Waikato) to Mt. Bruce National Wildlife Centre . These birds will also be kept in aviaries, and offspring released into the adjacent Mount Bruce Reserve which has recently had a predator control program put in place.
Puketi Forest (Northland). Two kokako fledglings were transferred within Northland from Matarau forest to Puketi forest. One died soon after transfer and the second has been wandering widely within Puketi.
Pukaha/Mt Bruce (ca.1000 ha). 6 birds (4 female, 2 male) from Managtutu released 2003. All birds stayed within the forested area. One pair has formed and produced 2 fledglings within four months of trasnfer. Additionally 4 captive birds (2 male, 2 female) held on site at Mt Bruce wildlife Centre were released in winter 2003. An additional two birds (1 male, 1 female) were transferred from Managtutu and released to Pukaha in Sept 2004. It is hoped future releases will even the sex ratio and consist on bird of the same dialect, until 5 pair establish at Pukaha/ Mt Bruce. Yearly monitoring of breeding activity occurs, and post-reelase monitoring of bird survival occurs. Contact Lynn Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Island (81 km2, Fiordland). In October 2008, 10
North Island saddlebacks (photo C.R.Veitch) were found only on Hen Island until 1964. Saddlebacks were released on Little Barrier and Kapiti Islands in 1925 but disappeared, probably due to cats (both islands) and Norway rats (Kapiti). Saddlebacks also failed to establish on Lady Alice Island following release in 1950. This may have just been due to chance (only 6 birds were released, of unknown sexes) since saddlebacks were successfully established there later. From 1964-89, saddlebacks were successfully established on Whatupuke, Red Mercury, Cuvier, Lady Alice, Stanley, Little Barrier, and Tiritiri Matangi, but failed to establish on Fanal (two attempts, in 1968 and 1985) and Motukawanui (Lovegrove 1996). Cats had been eradicated from Cuvier, Little Barrier and Kapiti, and possums had also been eradicated from Kapiti. However, Norway rats remained on Kapiti. The saddleback population there slowly declined but was was maintained by multiple releases from 1981-89. The population is probably now self-sustaining following eradication of rats from Kapiti in 1996. Saddlebacks were only recorded historically on Little Barrier and Cuvier, but were probably found on most of the other islands. There were no significant predators on islands other thatn Little Barrier, Cuvier and Kapiti. However, vegetation had been cleared or otherwise modified on all islands following Maori colonisation, possibly causing location extinction of saddlebacks, and the vegetation had subsequently regenerated to varying degrees. Translocations in the 1990s include:
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). Reintroduction. 36 birds translocated from Tiritiri Matangi, April 1992. Mokoia was cleared for agriculture but the forest has now been naturally regenerating for 40-50 years. Norway rats and goats were eradicated in 1989. Saddlebacks are presumed to have inhabitated Mokoia (in Lake Rotorua) historically, and the reintroduction was part of the Mokoia Island restoration programme. This is the only inland population of saddlebacks. Initial research focused on the effect of famililiarity among translocated birds (Armstrong & Craig 1995). Two groups were released in different patches: a familiar group captured from one bush patch on Tiri, and an unfamiliar group made up of birds from all over Tiri. There was no indication that familiarity affected dispersal, survival, behavioural interactions or breeding. Subsequent research focused on population growth and dynamics. The population had reached about 90 pairs by November 1997, when research stopped. The population shows clear density dependence in both survival and reproduction, and a population model developed by Davidson (1999) predicts the population to level off at about 100 pairs. A brodifacoum poison drop in September 1996 (an unsuccessful attempt to eradicate mice) is estimated to have killed 45% of the population, but this is predicted to have had little impact on the population trajectory (Davidson & Armstrong 2002). Contact Doug Armstrong.
Moturoa Island (Bay of Islands). Released August 1997. Contact Paul Asquith (email@example.com).
Moutohora (Whale) Island (143 ha, 6 km off Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, North Island). Presumed Reintroduction. 40 birds from Repanga (Cuvier) Island released in March 1999. The founder group consisted of 9 adult males, 11 females, 2 immature females, 11 juvenile males, and 7 juvenile females. Rabbits and Norway rats were eradicated from Mouthohora in the early 1990s. Cats and goats were eradicated earlier. There have already been reintroductions of red-crowned parakeets in 1986, tuatara in 1996, and nine threatened coastal plants in 1999. A Conservation Management Plan has been written for the islands, and is due to be published soon. The management and restoration of Moutohora is taking place with the full involvement of Ngati Awa. Contact Keith Owen (or see Owen & Blick 2000) for information on the translocation, or Dianne Brunton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on subsequent monitoring.
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. 39 birds (20 males and 19 females) were translocated from Tiritiri Matangi Island in June 2002. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). 49% birds transferred survived in the sanctuary for a year, compared with 48% on Cuvier and 40% on Little Barrier (Lovegrove 1996), despite a higher risk of dispersal than transfers to offshore islands. 10 pairs established territories inside the sanctuary in their first year and produced at least 30 fledglings. Nesting success varied according to nest location: most nests were built in flax bushes and 75% of chicks fledged successfully. Nests built on the ground or in a bank were least successful (25% of chicks fledged) whereas 100% chicks fledged from nests built in boxes or hollow trees. Productivity has fluctuated each year along with the number of breeding pairs: 3.0 fledglings per pair in 2002/3 (10 pairs), 4.2 in 2003/4 (14 pairs), 3.6 in 2004/5 (9 pairs) and 3.9 in 2005/6 (19 pairs). Active monitoring of the population ceased in 2006. Contact Raewyn Empson (email@example.com).
Boundary Stream Mainland Island (ca. 800 ha managed mainland area, Hawkes Bay, near east coast of North Island). Reintroduction. 37 birds were released in September 2004. This is the first attempt to reintroduce saddlebacks to an unfenced area, and one of the first attempts to reintroduce any “island marooned” species back to the mainland. Boundary Stream consists of 800 ha of intensively managed forest that now has extremely low levels of rats, possums and stoats. The birds were captured on Cuvier Island and held at Auckland Zoo for 30 days due to disease regulations. Two birds subsequently died in transit and one was too sick to be released, leaving 37 birds (23 female, 14 male) for release. 10 had tail-mounted transmitters attached, and 4 of these were found dead after a period of extremely cold southerlies two weeks after release (predation did not appear to have caused any of these mortalities). There were four known pairs in mid October, but all four females appeared to have disappeared by the end of 2004. Contact Wendy Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bushy Park Reserve (87 ha predator-fenced forest block near Whanganui). Saddlebacks were reintroduced to Bushy Park Reserve in May-June 2006. The reintroduction is part of the restoration programme for Bushy Park, which was enclosed by a predator-proof fence in May 2005 and mammalian predators subsequently eradicated. The reserve has 87 ha of relatively pristine pukatea-tawa-podocarp-mixed broadleaf forest. 40 birds were sourced from Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua. As part of Joanne Thorne’s MSc project, the plan for the release was to keep 10 birds under quarantine for two weeks and treat with Baycox (for coccidiosis) and Sporonox (for aspergillosis), keep 10 birds under quarantine with no treatment, release 10 birds immediately with treatment, and release 10 birds immediately with no treatment. The aim of this experiment was to assess the impact of the quarantine and treatment procedures now being routinely enforced in reintroductions. However, the occurrence of Plasmodium (malaria) in four of the initial 20 birds meant that we were required to quarantine and treat all birds, and the initial birds were held more than one month before release. Two birds subsequently died in the holding aviary, and many others disappeared shortly after release, leaving a population of about 20 birds at the start of the breeding season in September. This post-release survival is similar to that at Boundary Stream, where birds were held for 30 days, but much lower than found in other saddleback reintroductions. Contact Kelly Brider, Bushy Park, or Doug Armstrong.
Motuihe Island (179 ha, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland). Twenty North Island saddleback were translocated from Tiritiri Matangi to Motuihe Island in August 2005. Birds were captured using mist nets and lure calls, and were held for up to 4 days in an aviary on Tiritiri Matangi where they were provided with a variety of food including live invertebrates, fruit and natural forage, before transportation by boat to Motuihe. An August 2006 survey showed a minimum of 14 of the original translocated birds, and 11 juveniles from the 2005/2006 breeding season are present on the island. The minimum survival of translocated saddleback on Motuihe (70%) in the year following release was higher than that on Cuvier (41%), Stanley (46%) and Little Barrier (44%) Islands, and only slightly lower than that on Tiritiri Matangi (79%) and Mokoia (81%). It is unknown if saddleback were historically present on Motuihe but the introduction is consistent with the goals of the Motuihe Restoration Project. Contact Kevin Parker (email@example.com).
South Island Saddebacks were only found on Big South Cape (Taukehepa) Island until 1964. The first translocations were in response to an irruption of ship rats (Rattus rattus) on Big South Cape that year. Saddlebacks subsequently (and several other species) subsequently became extinct on Big South Cape, so the race was saved by translocation to Big and Kaimohu Islands (Merton 1965, 1975). Saddlebacks were subsequently translocated to several other islands from 1969-1986. Translocations seem to have resulted in established populations on Big, Kaimohu, North, Womens, Kundy, Betsy, Motunui, and Jacky Lee, and Putauhinu islands, whereas populations disappeared on Maud and Inner Chetwode Islands (Lovegrove 1996, updated by Peter McClelland). The Maud extinction may have been due to a stoat invasion in 1982 (stoats were subsequently eradicated). The causes of extinction is unclear for Inner Chetwode. This island has kiore and weka, but saddlebacks on other islands have thrived in the presence of these predators. The main rationale for the translocations has been to increase the range of South Island saddlebacks in case of disaster, and it's unclear which islands they inhabited historically. Recent translocations have also aimed to establish South Island saddlebacks on representative islands over its historic range, and to establish them on islands with public access. Translocations in the 1990s include:
Breaksea Island (170 ha, Fiordland). Reintroduction. 60 birds from Big Island and Kundy Island were released in March 1992. Reintroduction. Breaksea Island had Norway rats eradicated in 1988. Contact Peter McClelland (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Motuara Island (59 ha, Marlborough Sounds, off NE South Island). Reintroduction. 25 birds from Jackie Lee Island and North Island released March 1994. Contact Bill Cash or Johanna Pierre (email@example.com). See Pierre (1994) or Pierre (1999).
Pohowaitai Island (39 ha, off SW Stewart Island). Conservation Introduction. 30 birds from Kundy Island released, March 1999. Saddlebacks were not previously found on Pohowaitai, and the rationale was to increase the distribution of a threatened species. Contact Peter McClelland (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ulva Island (269 ha, Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island). Reintroduction. 30 birds from Big Island released April 2000. Norway rats were eradicated from Ulva in 1996. There has been subsequent sightings of rats on or around the island, and it is accepted that there are likely to be rats arriving occasionally. The approach of the Ulva Island Management plan is to maintain lines of traps and bait stations on the island, plus wharfs that boats are likely to be arriving from, that will hopefully prevent the rats from breeding and expanding. Because saddlebacks are extremely sensitive to rats, they are regarded to some extent as a "sentinel species" that will indicate whether the low-level presence of rats will be a problem for any rare species reintroduced to the island. All saddleback territories and nests have been located adjacent to the coastline near or in coastal scrub dominated by Senecio reinoldi, Dracophyllum longifolium and Metrosideros umbellata. Nest success has been relatively high (ca. 73%) but some nests have failed due to predation. The University of Otago has monitored the saddleback for the last two breeding seasons. At the end of the 2003/2004 breeding season, the population comprised 84 adults (including 17 of the founder birds) and 32 juveniles. Contact Brent Beaven (email@example.com).
South Passage Island (176 ha, Chalky Inlet, Fiordland National Park). Reintroduction. 35 birds from Breaksea Island (Fiordland National Park) released 3 October 2001. Similar numbers of males and females were taken, based on measurements. Birds were caught in mist nets, held in a temporary aviary for up to 5 days, and transported by helicopter. Passage Island is has rata-kamahi forest. Saddlebacks probably occurred on the island historically, and were recorded from the adjacent mainland in the 19th century. The reintroduction was part of the recovery programme for South Island saddlebacks, and part of the island's restoration programme. Stoats were eradicated in 1999, making the reintroduction possible. The island will be monitored for stoats, and stoats are being controlled on adjacent Great Island. Contact Allan Munn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anchor Island (1140 ha, Dusky Sound, Fiordland). 31 birds from Breaksea island, October 2002, plus additional 24 birds from Breaksea, April 2004. Contact Andrew "Max" Smart (email@example.com).
Bauza Island (400 ha, Doubtful Island, Fiordland). 28 birds from Breaksea Island, March 2003. Contact Andrew "Max" Smart (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Erin Island (67 ha Lake Te Anau, Fiordland). Reintroduction. 18 birds from Breaksea Island were released September 2003, plus additional 20 birds from Breaksea Island released April 2004. This reintroduction is significant because it was: i) the first release of saddleback back into primarily beech forest habitat, where they have been absent for approximately 100 years, and ii) onto an island that was within swimming distance to stoats, a major (introduced) predator of saddlebacks and of robins. The reintroduction has two objectives: i) to assess the value of predator-controlled inshore islands for translocation of threatened species that normally vulnerable to introduced mammalian predators and ii) to determine the short and long term effects of inbreeding in small island populations. Erin Island had been cleared of stoats since November 2001, but a juvenile stoat was trapped there in July 2003. Stoat control was intensified on the island and the adjacent mainland just before the release took place. Research on effects on inbreeding will assess nesting success and survival in relation to inbreeding, and will involve a sister study on Ulva Island. Contact Ian Jamieson (email@example.com).
Long Island (142 ha scenic reserve, Marlborough Sounds). 45 birds translocated from Motuara Island in August/September 2005. The population appears to be increasing although not yet common. Contact Bill Cash (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ecosanctuary (307 ha predator-fenced mainland site 20 km north of
Bellbirds are found throughout most of New Zealand, but are absent in the northern part of the North Island (the northermost birds are probably in the Coromandel Peninsula). There were unsuccessful attempts to re-establish bellbirds in the Waitakeres (1931) and Whangaparoa Peninsula (1983-84). The only recent translocations have been to:
Waiheke Island (Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). 30 birds (15 male, 15 female) were translocated from Cuvier Island in August 1990, and another 59 (28 male, 31 female) from Cuvier in February 1991. There had also been 11 birds (6 male, 5 female) translocated from Kaingaroa State Forest in June 1988, and 10 birds (6 male, 4 female) from the same area in May 1989. The birds from Kaingaroa were released immediately, whereas those from Cuvier were held in aviaries at the release sites for 4-7 days and had tree-top feeders with Complan and sugar water available for two weeks after release. The rationale for the translocation was that Waiheke had good-quality forest due to absence of possums. It also does not have ferrets or weasels, but has ship and Norway rats, mice and stoats. It is unknown whether bellbirds occurred on Waiheke historically. Birds dispersed widely and there were many sightings in the weeks following the 1990-91 releases, but there were few sightings after 6 months and none more than 5 years after release. See Lee (2005) or contact John Craig (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence), central Wellington, North Island. Reintroduction. 94 bellbirds have been transferred between 2001 and 2003, all but 2 from Kapiti Island. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). Tail mounted transmitters were attached to 12 males in 2001 to monitor dispersal, and most birds remained or returned frequently to the Sanctuary during the first month after release. The first successful breeding of a translocated bellbird population was documented in the sanctuary during the 2002/3 breeding season. The key may have been to release males later than females. Two pairs were monitored (one male transferred in 2001, the other 3 birds in 2002) during the 2002/3 breeding season and 24 fledglings were produced. Breeding has occurred every year since then but female survival and recruitment have been problematic, probably due to an increasingly pronounced sex imbalance in favour of males. By 2005/6 breeding season there were 20 territorial males competing for 5 females and losses of the latter occurred during the breeding season probably due to stress. Despite this 29 fledglings were produced. A supplementation of females is planned for 2007. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kapiti Island (1965 ha, off west coast of sothern North Island). 30 birds from Little Barrier Island were released in August 1983, a further 30 in August 1984, a further 12 in August 1990, a further 48 birds in August 1991, and a further 47 in August 1992. See Castro et al. (1994a, b). The population has remained stable or slowly declined, possibly needing this continual supplementation to maintain it. It was hoped that the eradication of Norway rats in 1996 would result in population growth, but it is not clear that this has happened. In August and November 2002, a further 15 birds from Mokoia Island were released (see below). The Kapiti Island population may (like Kapiti) have tenuous viability even with management (no analysis has been attempted and the data may be insufficient), but there is an ongoing commitment to manage hihi on Kapiti, resulting in the relocation of the Mokoia hihi to Kapiti.
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). 40 birds (20 male, 20 female) were translocated from Little Barrier Island, September 1994. Mokoia was cleared for agriculture but the forest has now been naturally regenerating for 40-50 years. Norway rats and goats were eradicated in 1989. Hihi are presumed to have inhabitated Mokoia historically, and the reintroduction was part of the Mokoia Island restoration programme. This is the only inland population of hihi. Research initially focused on post-release survival and effect of post-release management (Armstrong et al., 1999) and on testing whether the population was limited by availability of fruit and nectar. Our research suggests that reproduction is limited by food supply, but survival of birds is limited by other factors. An on-off food supplementation experiment (Armstrong & Perrott 2000) showed that there was no time in the first year when condition or survival of birds was limited by availability of carbohydrate food (click here for a photo of the setup used for the supplementation experiment). Nevertheless, the population has a high (50-60%) annual mortality rate for both adults and juveniles, both in the year of the experiment and in subsequent years when food was supplied continuously. Most dead hihi recovered have extensive Aspergillus infections, and we suspect a high susceptibility to Aspergillosis in this population is contraining the survival rate regardless of food supply. This is to countered by a high breeding rate, but only if there is supplementary feeding during the breeding season and management of nest boxes to prevent mite buildup. Hihi produced very few young in 1998/99, when supplementary food was removed altogether. Population viability analysis suggested that the population might persist with supplementary feeding and nest box management during the breeding season, but would be extinct in less than 5 years if this management were discontinued. Due to this necessary commitment of ongoing management, the remaining 15 birds were relocated to Kapiti Island in August and November 2002. Contact Doug Armstrong or Isabel Castro (I.C.Castro@massey.ac.nz).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). 37 birds were translocated from Little Barrier Island in September 1995, and another 14 birds were translocated in August 1996. Tiri had been mostly cleared for agriculture, but retained some small bush patches. Most of the cleared portions were planted with native trees from 1983-95, and kiore were eradicated. Hihi are not recorded from the island, but are presumed to have occurred there historically. The reintroduction was part of the Tiritiri Matangi restoration programme, and the revegetation programme was partially designed with hihi in mind. Hihi are provided with nest boxes, and these are checked for mite buildup during the breeding season. There are also sugar-water feeders available throughout the year. Unlike Mokoia, there was extensive mortality of females immediately after release in both 1995 and 1996. The second translocation was mostly females, and was intended to balance the sex ratio (12 males, 4 females in the 1995/96 breeding season). However, while post-release mortality was high, the mortality rate has otherwise been much lower than on Mokoia. Also unlike Mokoia, an on-off supplementation experiment showed that condition and survival or birds is limited by food supply in at least some years. The effect of supplementary food in the breeding season has not been tested. In intensive management regime is currently in place for this population, and the population appears to have good prospects of survival if that regime is maintained. Contact John Ewen (John.Ewen@ioz.ac.uk) or Doug Armstrong.
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence, central Wellington, North Island). Reintroduction. Following disease screening and quarantine, a total of 60 mainly juvenile hihi (31 females and 29 males) from Tiritiri Matangi Island were released at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in February and May 2005. 4 captive-bred hihi were also translocated from Mt Bruce between February and May 2005 and an additional 6 juveniles and 2 adults between January and April 2006. This was the first reintroduction of hihi to a predator-fenced mainland area. Birds were offered Wombaroo nectivore mix and sugar water as supplementary foods. Initial survival was good compared to survival following transfer to Kapiti, Tiritiri and Mokoia Islands, despite the increased risk of dispersal, with 90% birds still alive 5-6 weeks after release. By September more soft released birds were alive than hard released birds but the reverse was the case by February 2006. The breeding season exceeded all expectations, with nesting beginning several weeks earlier than elsewhere and 89 chicks fledged successfully, an average of 5.2 fledglings per female. Contact Raewyn Empson (email@example.com) or Matu Booth (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ark in the Park (
Tuatara (photo: Tony Whitaker) are confined to about offshore islands in the Marlborough Sounds area and along the northern east coast of the North Island. They have recently been reintruduced to two islands following predator eradications:
Moutohora (Whale) Island (143 ha, off east coast of North Island). Reintroduction. 32 wildcaught adults from Moutoki Island (0.8 ha) released October 1996. Presumed suitable habitat following eradication of rabbits and Norway rats in the early 1990s. Cats and goats had been eradicated earlier. There have also been reintroductions of red-crowned parakeets in 1986, saddlebacks in 1996, and nine threatened coastal plants in 1999. The release was designed to test the importance of environmental factors vegetation type and seabird burrow dispersion/ density on initial success of translocation. Most tuatara survived the first two years, but it's unclear whether young have been produced yet. See Owen 1998b or Owen 1999 (Reintroduction News 17: 16-18). Contact Graham Ussher (email@example.com) for further results.
Whakau (Red Mercury) Island (Mercury Group, off NE North Island). Reintroduction. Presumed suitable habitat following eradication of Kiore in 1992. 9 captive adults originally caught on Whakau and 12 juveniles bred from Whakau animals released November 1996. Another 2 captive adults were released in December 1998. The release was deisgned to test the importance of vegetation and burrows (as above) on translocation success. It was also to assess merits of captive breeding and release programmes for juveniles. Contact Graham Ussher (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf east of Auckland). Reintroduction. 60 adult tuatara from Middle Island (Mercury Group) were released on 25 October 2003. Contact Graham Ussher (email@example.com) or Melinda Habgood (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Whakaterepapanui Island (outer Pelorus Sound, Marlborough Sounds). In October 2004, 300+ juvenile tuatara were released on Whakaterepapanui in outer Pelorus Sound. These animals had been hatched in captivity from eggs taken from Stephens Island in Cook Strait (as part of study by Nicola Nelson on effects of temperature on sex determination). The young animals were then raised for the next 4-5 years at Nga Manu Sanctuary north of Wellington with funding assistance from the Zoological Society of San Diego. The release site was some 500 m from where adult tuatara had been released the previous year. While the establishment of another wild population of tuatara has obvious conservation benefits for the species the population will be of particular scientific interest in helping to determine whether the fitness of captive raised animals differs from those raised naturally. From Peter Gaze (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence, central Wellington, North Island). Reintroduction. 70 tuatara were translocated to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington on 2 December 2005. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). This is the first reintroduction of tuatara to any mainland site since they were extirpated from the mainland in the 19th century. The tuatara came from Stephens Island. After quarantine, 60 animals were released into a specially constructed mouse-free enclosure of ca. 1 ha size, and 10 tuatara were released outside this enclosure, to examine whether the tuatara could survive in the presence of mice (a MSc project). 6 animals inside and 10 animals outside the enclosure were released carrying transmitters to assist with monitoring survival and condition. Animals caught since release have had no significant change in condition but external parasite loads have been reduced; no mouse damage has been detected. Another 130 tuatara from Stephens Island will be released in Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in the future. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katie McKenzie (email@example.com).
Brothers Island tuatara (photo: Alison Cree) was described as a separate species in 1877. Nevertheless, legislation and management treated all tuatara as a single species until recently. Follwing analysis of allozyme and morphological variation in tuatara from 24 islands (Daugherty et al. 1990, Nature 347: 177-179), the tuatara on North Brother Island became generally recognised as a separate species from other tuatara. North Brother is a 4 ha island in the Marlborough Sounds, between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The island supports about 350 adult tuatara, and the population has a high probability of long-term survival (Nelson 1998). Translocations are being used to establish populations on other islands where the species may have occurred historically.
Titi Island (32 ha, Marlborough Sounds, off NE South Island). 68 tuatara were translocated from North Brother to Titi Island, Marlborough Sounds, in 1995. It is likely (but not confirmed) that tuatara would have occurred on Titi historically, but it's unclear which species would have occurred there. Tuatara would have been exterminated by Norway rats, which were eradicated from 1970-75. Tuatara had high survivorship and improved in condition in the first two years after release, suggesting a high probability of population survival (Nelson 1998). Contact Nicky Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Matui-Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbour). 20 wildcaught adults from North Brother Island and 34 captive-reared juveniles released October 1998. Tuatara were recorded historically on Matui-Somes, but the species/genetic group is unknown. The island was mostly cleared of vegetation, and had ship rats which would have exterminated tuatara. The rats were eradicated in the early 1960s, and Forest and Bird have been doing a revegetation programme since 1981. Contact Charlie Daugherty (Charles.Daugherty@vuw.ac.nz)or Peter Gaze (email@example.com).
Motuopao Island (30 ha, off Cape Maria Van Diemen, northern tip of North Island). 41 geckos (20 adult females, 16 adult males, 2 sub-adult females, 3 sub-adult males) were released from Matapia Island (1.3 ha, 20 km to the south), April 1997. This gecko species, superficially similar to a goldstripe gecko, was only found on Matapia before the translocation. Motuopao had kiore until they were eradicated in 1989, hence may have formerly had this gecko. Monitoring was conducted in March 2002, but no geckos were seen from 2.5 hours spotlighting. This is not surprising as we have had very little success spotlighting for Pacific geckos (Hoplodactylus pacificus) on Lady Alice Island in the Marotere Islands. More success was acheived there using artificial 'gecko homes' (sunken ptifall traps filled with rocks) and these will now be tried on Motuopao Island. Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). 21 animals were reintroduced from North Brother Island (Cook Strait), November 1997, and held in cages on Mana until release in February 1998. These were used for enclosure trials with resident goldstripe geckos to test for displacement. A further 19 were released in November 1998. The reintroduction was part of the Mana Island Ecological Restoration Programme (to be added). It also increases the distribution of this species, which is confined to offshore islands in Cook Strait on off the NE coast of the North Island. Contact Colin Miskelly (email@example.com) for information on translocation. See Flannagan (2000) for research on interactions with goldstripe geckos.
Matiu/Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbor). In April 2005, 25 Southern North Island forest geckos (Photo: A. Morrison) were released from captivity onto Matiu/Somes Island (24.9 ha, in Wellington Harbour). It is not known if forest geckos originally inhabited Matiu/Somes Island but evidence suggests that they were once wide spread throughout the Wellington area. Matiu/Somes Island is in the process of being restored to its original coastal forest community and has been pest free since 1989 when rats and mice were eradicated. The geckos were sourced from local breeders and consisted of animals bred from Wellington ecological district sourced stock. 9 Males, 8 females and 8 juveniles were released into purpose built gecko boxes attached to trees on the island. Prior to the release, each gecko was photographed for identification purposes and disease screened by the team at the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre. Three of the released geckos, including a gravid female, have been found in the gecko boxes during post release monitoring, indicating the geckos are surviving and breeding on the island. Contact Andrew Morrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(138 ha, Hen and Chickens Group off NE North Island). 27 animals were
reintroduced from Pupuha Island (also Hen and Chickens Group), March 1997, and
3 additional geckos in December 1997. Pacific geckos are assumed to have becomd
extinct due to predation from kiore, which were eradicated by aerial poison
drop in October 1993. This was the first translocation of any gecko species.
Geckos born on the island have now been found. In addition, in January 2003
Richard Parrish found 2 Pacific geckos circa 1 km and 2.5 km from where geckos
were released, and these were almost certainly animals that were present during
the kiore era. This highlights that patience is required after
eradications of predators, i.e., species may reappear after having been in
undetectible numbers previously. Contact Dave Towns (email@example.com) or Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Matakohe/Limestone Island (
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Reintroduction as part of the Mana Island Ecological Restoration Programme (to be added). A total of 12 geckos (8 male, 4 female) from the Wellington area were released in February 1998, November 1998 and May 99. Contact Colin Miskelly (email@example.com).
Ecosanctuary (307 ha predator-fenced mainland site 20 km north of
Motuara Island (59 ha, Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough Sounds, off NE South Island). 14 Marlborough green geckos (5 male, 6 female, 3 subadult) were translocated from Arapawa Island, December 1998. Motuara is now predator free following eradication of kiore, and it is likely that Marlborough green geckos were found there historically. The translocation is part of the island's restoration program (see Maud Island Frog, South Island Saddeback), and increases the distribution of the species. Follow up monitoring will occur every 6 months with the first survey in Autumn 1999. Contact Mandy Tocher (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Motuopao Island (30 ha, off Cape Maria Van Diemen, northern tip of North Island). 30 skinks (27 adults, 3 subadults) were released from Matapia Island (1.3 ha, 20 km to the south) in April 1997. Motuopao had kiore until they were eradicated in 1989, hence may have formerly had this skink. Monitoring was carried out in March 2002 and November 2003. On first trip three skinks were caught in 80 trapnights, including 2 adults (both had increased in size) and one juvenile. On second trip, Andrea Booth caught 4 robust skinks in 60 trap nights. One of these was a juvenile and is the result of breeding occurring on the island as opposed to the 1 caught in 2002 which was most likely born from a gravid female on release. See Parrish & Anderson (1999, Tane 37: 1-14). Contact Richard Parrish (email@example.com).
Korapuki Island (17 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). 7 animals from Green Island were released November 1992 - March 1993 as part of the island's restoration programme (see Towns 1994, and entries for Whitaker's Skink, Marbed Skink and Egg-laying Skink). Rabbits had been eradicated from Korapuki in 1986 and kiore had been eradicated in 1987. Translocation strategies for all lizards on Korapuki have been to minimise translocation distance (with the aim of matching microhabitats), use immediate releases (to avoid using holding facilities and risking contact with diseases/parasites), and to typically take about 30 individuals (to avoid inbreeding while also avoiding damage to source populations). Contact Dave Towns (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lady Alice Island (138 ha, Hen and Chickens Group off NE North Island). 39 McGregor's skinks (Cyclodina macgregori) were released at Kotutotara Bay of Lady Alice in the Chickens group in December 1997 and March 1998. The 39 skinks released (16 pregnant females, 18 males, 5 sub-adults) were from Sail Rock in Hen & Chickens island group. The species is assumed to have been on Lady Alice historically because the source and release site were connected about 3000-5000 BP. The reintroduction is part of restoration of Marotere Islands following eradication of Pacific rats in 1994. The skinks were caught in 4 litre paint pails and transported in cloth bags and then large plastic boxes with leaf litter. The first monitoring was done in January 2003, and 3 skinks were caught. Two were translocated skinks, both of which had grown since release, and the third skink was a large juvenile that was probably born in the first year (i.e., from a female pregnant when released). Four skinks were caught in January 2005, including 2 males, 1 female and one ca. 2-year-old juveniles that obviously resulted from breeding at the release site. Contact Richard Parrish (email@example.com).
Whatupuke Island (102 ha, Hen and Chickens Group off NE North Island). Reintroduction. 16 skinks reintroduced from Sail Rock, March and December 2000, and a further 14 translocated December 2000. McGregor's skinks are assumed to have been absent due to kiore, which were eradicated in 1993. Monitoring was carried out in 2001 and 2002. In 2001 four skinks (2 males, 2 females) were caught. In 2002 8 skinks were caught, and one female was heavily gravid.Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Korapuki Island (17 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). 18 animals from Green Island were released November 1992 - March 1993 as part of the island's restoration programme (see Towns 1994, and entries for Robust Skink, Whitaker's Skink, and Egg-laying Skink). Rabbits had been eradicated from Korapuki in 1986 and kiore had been eradicated in 1987. Contact Dave Towns (email@example.com).
Matiu/Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbor). On 4 November 2006, 26 ornate skinks (Photo: A. Morrison) were released onto mammalian predator free Matiu/Somes Island (24.9 ha, in Wellington Harbour). The founder group consisted of 8 males, 11 females, and 6 juveniles. While it is unclear whether ornate skinks were originally on Matiu/Somes, the species is identified for translocation in the Matiu/Somes management plan and will advance the task of restoring a coastal forest community representative of the Wellington ecological district. The source of animals was unusual, over half of the 26 skinks were caught and brought home alive by a single pet cat in the Wellington suburb of Kelburn, the rest were salvaged from a garden undergoing landscaping in Wellington city. The skinks were held in captivity over winter in preparation for a release in spring. Brett Gartrell's team at the New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre screened the skinks for diseases and, after confirming that a photo id could be used to identify individuals, each skink had mug shots taken and an identification booklet was made for future monitoring. The skinks were released under roof tiles and macrocarpa logs which will serve as monitoring points. Contact Andrew Morrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Matakohe/Limestone Island (
Korapuki Island (17 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). 28 animals from Middle Island were released from February 1988 - March 1990, as part of the island's restoration programme (see Towns 1994). Rabbits had been eradicated from Korapuki in 1986 and kiore had been eradicated in 1987. Subsequent data collected indicates a self-sustaining population, but with a rate of increase of only 5-9% per annum (Towns 1995, Reintroduction News 11: 3-4; Towns 1999, Reintroduction News 17: 18-19). Towns (1999) notes that low rates of increase are typical of some Clyclodina species, and that monitoring programmes need to be designed to reflect this. Translocation strategies for all lizards on Korapuki have been to minimise translocation distance (with the aim of matching microhabitats), use immediate releases (to avoid using holding facilities and risking contact with diseases/parasites), and to typically take about 30 individuals (to avoid inbreeding while also avoiding damage to source populations). Also see Robust Skink, Marbled Skink and Egg-laying Skink. Contact Dave Towns (email@example.com).
This endangered skink only survived on five small islands in the Marotere Islands (Hen and Chickens Group), all less than 5ha. It has been reintroduced to the three largest of the Marotere Islands, totalling 330ha. In all cases the reintroduction followed the eradication of kiore (Pacific rats) which are assumed to have resulted in extirpation of the skinks. No further releases are planned within the Marotere group. Monitoring to see if they successfully establish will continue at 5 yearly intervals. The 3 islands are:
Lady Alice Island (138 ha). The first reintroduction attempt was in March 1997 when 14 skinks were reintroduced from Muriwhenua Island following eradicated of kiore in 1994. However, no Mokohinau skinks have subsequently been recaptured on Lady Alice, so this reintroduction may have been unsuccessful. These skinks were released into forest in a valley, and may have left the area chosen (3 skinks caught the year after the first release were found at the opposite corner of our monitoring quadrat, some 20 m away from release site). The second attempt was in 2005 when 46 skinks (17 females, 14 males, 1 juvenile) from Muriwhenua Island were released at West Bay of Lady Alice Island. Lady Alice is assumed to have had this species historically since the source site is very close (1.2 km) from Lady Alice and was connected about 3000-5000 BP. The reintroduction is part of restoration of Marotere Islands following eradication of Pacific rats in 1994. This time they were released into a beach boulder area, more similar to where they came from. The skinks were caught in 4-litre paint pails over 4 days, transported in cloth bags, and held in those bags or in plastic bins with forest litter until processed.
Whatupuke Island (102 ha). 22 skinks were reintroduced from Middle Stack (200 m away) in March and December 2000, and a further 8 translocated in December 2000, following eradication of kiore in 1993. Four were caught in 33 trap nights in March 2001, and 2 females appeared to be gravid. 11 skinks were caught in 64 trap nights in March 2004. Two of the skinks were juveniles born on the island probably from females gravid at the time of release. However, growth rates of this species are unknown and these animals could be the result of breeding at the site.
Coppermine Island (80 ha). 30 skinks were reintroduced from 'Middle Stack' in January 2002, following eradication of kiore in 1997.
Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Reintroduction. 49 skinks
from Takapourewa (Stephens Island) were released in February 2004. They
were caught with pit-fall traps, held in termporary enclosures and feed
mealworms and jam-water. They were then transferred in plastic containers
with damp paper towels individually, and released under driftwood placed on a
forest edge, close to both grassland and forest. Ad hoc monitoring to
determine survival of individuals is occuring but formal monitoring of
population growth and expansion will begin in five years. Contact Lynn Adams (email@example.com).
Maud Island (309 ha, Marlborough Sounds). 40 skinks from Takapourewa (Stephens Island) were released in February 2004, at the same time that they were translocated to Mana Island. They were released on Maud Island in secondary growth below the main forest. As of December 2008, at least three speckled skinks had been seen and one was unmarked which means they must have been bred on the island. Contact Bill Cash (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). 50 animals were reintroduced from Matui-Somes Island in February 1998, and a further group were translocated in November 1998. The reintroduction was part of the Mana Island Ecological Restoration Programme (to be added). In addition, spotted skinks are rare or absent at former mainland sites in the Wellington region (they are also found in Hawkes Bay in the NE South Island). See Griffiths (1999). Contact Colin Miskelly (email@example.com).
enclose near Alexandra (0.25 ha,
Matakohe/Limestone Island (
Papakohatu/Crusoe Island (1 ha island,
Korapuki Island (17 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). 30 animals from Green Island were released November 1992 - March 1993 as part of the island's restoration programme (see Towns 1994, and entries for Robust Skink, Marbled Skink and Whitaker's Skink). Rabbits had been eradicated from Korapuki in 1986 and kiore had been eradicated in 1987. Contact Dave Towns (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Awaiti Island (4 ha, Tennyson Inlet, Marlborough Sounds). 26 skinks (7 ad males, 7 ad female, 1 ad unknown, 11 juveniles) were released 19 May 2001. The 15 adults had been taken into captivity from Maud Island (Marlborough Sounds) to compare their behaviour with that of the threatened striped skink Oligosoma striatum. These animals, plus their offspring produced in captivity, were then used for reintroduction (assuming the skinks were found there historically) to Awaiti. Awaiti has been rodent-free for 17 years, but has a resident population of weka. Knowing whether skinks can establish in the presence of weka is an important consideration in the restoration of lizard species elsewhere in the Sounds. No lizards had ever been recorded from Awaiti, and a further 50+ trap days using "G Minnow" traps baited with canned pear caught no animals. The release site was in a damp rocky gully to the south of the only landing beach, and the adults and juveniles were about 20 m apart. The skinks will be searched for in the 2001/02 summer, and if some animals are surviving a further 20 adults may be brought from Maud. Contact Peter Gaze (email@example.com)
Hamilton's Frog was, until recently, considered to exist on two islands, Stephens Island and Maud Island. However, the two populations have now been divided into separate species based on electrophoresis. Only the Stephens Island form is now considered to be L. hamiltoni, and the Maud Island form is L. pakeka.
Stephens Island Frog Pit (Cook Strait, between North and South Islands). The Stephens Island frogs were only known to occur on a 600 m2 rock bank (called the "Frog Bank"). 12 frogs were translocated to a newly created habitat called the "Frog Pit" in 1992. This new habitat is 72m2 within the nearest remaining forest patch to the frog bank. See Brown (1994).
Nukuwaiata/Inner Chetwode Island (195ha, in the Marlborough Sounds). In 2004, the first translocation of Hamilton’s frog was made from Stephens Island to Nukuwaiata. This translocation was considered a wise move in order to establish a second population but was treated with extreme caution given that the total population is less than 400 adults. The number and age class of this first cohort was determined after analysis of years of monitoring data from Stephens Island and the new site had been shown to be suitable after comparison of temperature and humidity data. Survival of both populations looks promising and a second cohort is due to be moved in mid 2006. From Peter Gaze (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Until recently the Maud Island Frog only occured on Maud Island (Pelorus Sound, Marlborough Sounds, off NE South Island). They were formerly confined to a 15 ha remnant of coastal forest there, but in 1984-95 were translocated to a second location on Maud, from which they seem to be spreading (Bell 1994).
Motuara Island (59 ha, Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough Sounds). 300 Leiopelma pakeka were translocated from Maud Island, May 1997, with the aim of establishing L. pakeka on another predator-free off shore island. It isn't known whether L. pakeka occurred on Motuara historically, but its closeness to Maud Island means that this is not unlikely. The island is now predator free following eradication of kiore in 1990, and several species are being reintroduced (also see South Island saddleback, Marlborough green gecko). The collection of 300 individuals ensured a sex ratio and size class frequency similar to that found on Maud Island. Surveys of the translocated population occured every 3 months until December 1998. Juveniles from at least 3 nests were discovered at the release site only 10 months after the transfer. Results indicate the population in the 10 x 10m release grid is declining, due to both emmigration and mortality. Further monitoring will involve searching a larger area and the setting up another 2-3 grids in order to follow the progress of the transferred population. Contact Mandy Tocher (email@example.com) or Peter Gaze (firstname.lastname@example.org). See Gaze (1999, Reintroduction News 17: 9-10).
Long Island (142 ha Scenic Reserve, Marlborough Sounds). During the winter of 2005, 100 Maud Island frogs (Leiopelma pakeka) were translocated to Long Island in Queen Charlotte Sound. As with the previous translocation of Leiopelma, a suitable site had been prepared with boardwalks constructed over the boulder substrate allowing monitoring to occur without disturbance to the habitat. Frogs were monitored during the first week following translocation and again in February/March 2006, eight months after the release. Nearly a third of the frogs were recaptured during the Feb/March monitoring trip and these appeared to be in good condition with several gravid females observed. Frogs tended to move in a downhill direction with resightings of individuals at points from 28 cm to 15.5 m away from the frogs' original release sites. Dispersal from the release site did not appear to be related to good habitat as many frogs moved downhill into areas with less dense rock piles. See Germano (2006), contact Jennifer Germano (email@example.com) or Peter Gaze (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence, central Wellington, North Island). Reintroduction. 60 frogs were translocated to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in 2006, 30 mainly female frogs in February and March from Canterbury University where they had been held for research purposes for 3 years, and 30 mainly male frogs directly from Maud Island in October. The reintroduction is part of the restoration program in the sanctuary following eradication of mammals inside the fence (see http://www.sanctuary.org.nz). This is the first reintroduction of the Leiopelma hamiltoni-pakeka group of terrestrial frogs to any mainland site. The frogs have been placed temporarily into two “mouse-proof” enclosures where they have been monitored to assess survival and condition. The frogs transferred in October were screened for chytrid fungus and have been maintained under quarantine conditions in an enclosure separate to the other frogs. In early 2007 frogs from both enclosures will be recaptured and sorted into two experimental regimes – half will be returned to a mouse-proof enclosure and half will be placed into an adjacent rock pile to determine if this species can survive in the presence of mice. This research is being undertaken as a MSc project. Contact Raewyn Empson (email@example.com) or Kerri Lukis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Brynderwyn Hills (40 km south of Whangarei). Relocation. Frogs were relocated from a stream that was infilled due to repair of State Highway 1. We searched the 100 m of stream to be affected from 26 October to 7 November 2004, and found 28 frogs. More searching took place in late 2005, after planned repairs to the highway were extended another 20 m downstream due to new cracks being found in the road. We found 25 frogs in 2005, 14 of them were juveniles which is something we didn't get last year (suggesting a significant breeding event the previous year). We were surprised to find so many from a severely degraded stream (we expected 10 max). However, on this search we lifted every rock and ripped apart every log and used nailbars to lever open every crack rather than the usual procedure of only lifting rocks where it doesn’t cause damage. We have moved the frogs to other streams nearby (<500m), and all on the top side of the SH, as all downstream stretches regularly get inundated with floods off the road, oil washing off and debris washing in. After the 2004 relocation, we searched for the frogs 2 weeks and 2 months after release but found none. Therefore the frogs relocated in 2005 will be searched for 3 days after release. If there is no indication that reloated frogs are suriving, we will have to look seriously at other options such as putting them into captivity or using them to try and establish a new population. Transit NZ are planning other works on the hill and every single stream there has frogs in it. Contact Richard Parrish (email@example.com).
Maungatautari (3400 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a
mammal-proof fence), Waikato, North Island. Reintroduction?. 10
Short-jawed Kokopu, 40 Giant Kokopu and 200 Banded Kokopu were released into
the southern enclosure and the Tautari wetland in April 2007. The fish
were sourced from Charlie Mitchell's whitebait farm at Raglan. Contact Chris Smuts-Kennedy
This giant weta (photo: Ian Stringer) was previously found only on Middle Island (13 ha) in the Mercury Group, but was probably present on other islands in the group before arrival of introduced mammals, especially rats. Tusked weta are carnivorous and nocturnal, and spend the day resting in sealed chambers that they dig. They have recently been translocated to 2 islands where mammals have been eradicated:
Double Island (33 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). Reintroduction. 82 (19 male, 63 female) released May to September 2001. The weta were reared from 2 females and 1 male taken from Middle Island, and were liberated when half grown to adult. They were released individually in artificial holes and in depressions under plastic plant pot saucers. One large female nymph was found in March 2003 confirming that they have produced a first generation on the island. Contact Ian Stringer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Red Mercury Island (225 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). 64
weta in two releases: 49 (16 males, 33 female) May to September 2001, 15 (6
male, 9 female) September 2002 at a second site >500 m away from the first
release. Release methods as for Double Island. In addition, 6 weta (3 male, 3
female) were released (4 under saucers; 2 in holes) in a 5 m by 5 m predator
proof enclosure. Tuatara and Little Spotted Kiwi have also been released
to Red Mercury, and may prey on the weta outside the enclosures. 8 medium to
large sized nymphs were found in March 2003 confirming a first generation on
the island. Contact Ian Stringer (email@example.com).
Before translocations, Deinacrida rugosa (photo: Mike Meads) was found only on Mana Island (where it is common), and Stephens and Middle Trio Islands (where it is rare). In 1976, 43 wetas from Mana were released on Maud Island, where there are now probably thousands (Meads 1994). Translocations since 1990 include:
Matui-Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbour). 34 weta (21 male, 13 female, 1 unknown) from Mana Island were released on 26 March 1996, and a further 28 (11 male, 14 female, 3 unknown) released on 17 April 1996 1997. The population is now well established. Contact Colin Miskelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary McIntyre (Victoria University).
Titi Island (32 ha, Marlborough Sounds off NE South Island). Introduction. 92 animals from Maud Island released at two sites on Titi in February 2001. Norway rats, which had a clear impact on invertebrate fauna, were eradicated from Titi 1970-75. The translocation of Cook Strait giant weta helps to re-establish ecological links which would have formerly existed on the island as well as establishing another population of a species once widespread. Animals were captured by hand at night, held overnight in sealed plastic containers, then released into vegetation on Titi the next day. The first major survey to assess the success of the operation will be four years after the final release (additional animals may be released). Contact Peter Gaze (email@example.com).
Wakaterepapanui Island. 42 giant weta were translocated from Takapourewa (Stephens Island) in October 2003, and 13 captive-bred weta were translocated to the island in May 2004. More details are available on DOCDM-63162 and DOCDM-33695. A search in early 2006 failed to find any giant weta (Gruber 2007 – DOCDM-136250). Contact Bill Cash (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Long Island (142 ha scenic reserve, Marlborough Sounds). 97 weta (39 male, 58 female) were translocated from Maud Island to Long Island in January 2008. A follow-up translocation of about the same number is planned for January 2009. There had not been any follow-up survey as of December 2008. Contact Bill Cash (email@example.com).
This species (photo: Mike Meads) was first discovered on a farm near Mahoenui (near Te Kuiti, west central North Island) in 1962. Before translocation, the species was confined to a few hundred ha of pasture covered with dense aged gorse. The gorse (a noxious weed) presumably provides protection from rats and other predators, and the weta are extremely abundant. 160 ha was subsequently purchased by the Department of Conservation and made the Mahoenui Giant Weta reserve. Since the late 1980s there have been translocations to two other reserves with 40 km of the parent population:
Maungaokewa Reserve. 141 weta (83 male, 58 female) released February 1989, and 91 weta (47 male, 44 female) released December 1989. The reserve is fenced from stock, and there is control of browsing mammals. See Sherley (1994). Contact Greg Sherley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cowan Reserve. 162 weta (79 male, 83 female) released February 1989, 53 weta (28 male, 25 female) December 1989, 135 (72 male, 63 female) January 1991, 119 (59 male, 60 female) September 1992. See Sherley (1994). Contact Greg Sherley (email@example.com).
Warrenheip (16 ha private reserve near Cambridge, North Island). 287 weta were released at Warrenheip in 2001, two years after an Xcluder pest-proof fence was built around the reserve. The reserve has regenerating forest and shrubland, and is on property owned by David Wallace. There have now been several sighting of young giant weta, giving evidence that they are breeding, and the weta appear to have spread over much of the reserve as of 2007. Contact David Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Korapuki Island (17 ha, Mercury Group off NE North Island). Reintroduction. 52 adult weta from Double Island (also Mercury Island group) were released in May 1997. This is part of the restoration programme on Koropuki following eradication of rabbits in 1986 and kiore in 1987. New Zealand forest ecosystems typically feature a number of weta species and this reintroduction restored one of the more common elements to the invertebrate fauna to Korapuki (the species is widespread over the northern half of the North Island, including other offshore islands). The project also aimed to formulate and improve methods of translocating and monitoring invertebrates in restoration programmes. The weta were attracted into wooden blocks on the source island over several months, then transported in the blocks (which were tied to trees on Koropuki). This method avoided direct handling with the aim of minimizing stress. About 75% of the weta remained site faithful one week after translocation. Additional wooden blocks and short lengths of bamboo have been used as artificial roost sites to monitor both the source population and transferred population. Both populations were thriving at the last census, in March 1999. After two breeding seasons, the Koropuki population had at least quadrupled (based on numbers inside the artificial roosts). Contact Chris Green (email@example.com).
Matui-Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbour). 33 weta (14 male, 18 female, 1 unknown) from Mana Island were released on 17 April 1996, and a further 26 (7 male, 19 female) released on 21 August 1997. The population is now well established. Contact Colin Miskelly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The species was once widespread throughout NZ, from Northland to Fiordland but is now largely confined to rodent-free islands through its former range. Photo: Mike Meads.
Breaksea Island (170 ha, Fiordland). Translocated from rat-free islets in Breaksea Sound in early 1990s. Norway rats were found on Breaksea until they were eradicated in 1988. Contact Bruce Thomas (email@example.com).
Titi Island (32 ha, Marlborough Sounds off NE South Island). Introduction. 82 animals from Maud Island released at two sites on Titi in February 2001. Norway rats, which had a clear impact on invertebrate fauna, were eradicated from Titi 1970-75. The translocation of Cook Strait giant weta helps to re-establish ecological links which would have formerly existed on the island as well as establishing another population of a species once widespread. Animals were captured from coastal flaxes (Phormium cookianum) and harakeke (P. tenax) by hand at night, held overnight in sealed plastic containers, then released into coastal vegetation (comprising grasses, low scrub, herbs and clumps of flax) on Titi the next day. Each animal was individually marked with a numbered 'bee tag'. The first major survey to assess the success of the operation will be four years after the final release (additional animals may be released). Contact Peter Gaze (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mana Island (217 ha, off SW North Island). Reintroduction. 70 animals transferred from Maud Island 11 March 2004. Animals were captured from coastal flaxes (Phormium cookianum) and harakeke (P. tenax) by hand at night, held in plastic containers overnight with damp paper towels and trasnferred the following day. Further transfers will occur in subsequent years to a total of c.150 are transferred. Formal monitoring will begin in 2009. Contact Lynn Adams (email@example.com).
Breaksea Island (170 ha, Fiordland). Translocated from rat-free islets in Breaksea Sound in early 1990s. Norway rats were found on Breaksea until they were eradicated in 1988. Photo: Mike Meads. Contact Bruce Thomas(firstname.lastname@example.org).
Weevil (Lyperobius huttoni)
An insurance population of the regionally critical Speargrass weevil (Photo: A. Morrison) is being established on Mana Island (217 ha) off the Wellington coast. 15 weevils (5 males and 10 females), collected from speargrass plants (Aciphylla squarrosa) on the Wellington south coast, were released on Mana Island between March and August 2006. 20 further weevils will be translocated by January 2007. The Wellington south coast weevils represent the only North Island population of L. huttoni and are found at much lower altitudes than south island L. huttoni populations. DNA investigation suggests that they are the same species but the results have not been conclusive. The Wellington population has been decimated following habitat destruction by feral pigs, goats and hares and predation by rodents. Numbers have dropped to less than 200 individuals and management in situ has failed to halt the decline. While there are no records of L. huttoni occurring on Mana, the island shares a similar climate with the south coast and supports a large population of speargrass in an introduced predator free environment. It is hoped the translocated weevils will establish on Mana Island and provide a source for future relocations to the mainland. Contact Andrew Morrison (email@example.com).
Weevil (Anagotis turbotti)
Lady Alice Island (138 ha, Hen and Chickens Group off NE North Island). In September 2006, 30 Turbott's weevils were translocated onto Lady Alice Island from Muriwhenua Island, a small predator free islet in the same group. Weevils were released into cages in West Bay in the hope that they can become established before being released to face native predators including saddlebacks, moreporks, tuatara and Duvaucel's geckos. Half of the weevils were released into a cage placed over a ngaio shrub, one of their preferred food species. The others were released into a cage over a karaka sapling, another favourite food species. The larvae are known to also use these trees/shrubs for boring into. Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ian Stringer, Department of Conservation, Science & Research (email@example.com).
Large Darkling Beetle (Mimopeus opaculus)
Lady Alice Island (138 ha, Hen and Chickens Group off NE North Island). In September 2006, 42 large darkling beetles were translocated onto Lady Alice Island from Muriwhenua Island, a small predator free islet in the same group. Most beetles were released into a cages to protect them from native predators, but a few were released outside the cages. Some of both species will be released outside the cages once breeding in proven. Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ian Stringer (email@example.com).
Lady Alice Island (138 ha, Hen and Chickens Group off NE North Island). In September 2006, 43 Amborhytida tarangensis snails were translocated onto Lady Alice Island from Taranga (Hen) Island. The snails were released into an area previously chosen as suitable near Koputotara Point, and released in two groups a few metres apart. Fourteen of the snails were fitted with transponders so their fate/movements can be followed in one year's time. Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ian Stringer (email@example.com).
P. ambagiosus (photo: Mike Meads) is confined to the Te Paki Ecological Region at the northermost tip of the North Island. 25 colonies have been found, most of which are designated as different subspecies. There is a small population on Motutakapu Island resulting from a translocation in 1984. There were also several unsuccessful translocations to islands in the 1980s, as well as several mainland translocations that appear to have had little success. Since the 1990s, there have been local translocations at three populations:
P. a. paraspiritus, Cape Maria van Diemen. 31 snails were released at each of two sites within 500 m of the source population in May 1990. The two areas did not have any P. ambagiosus but appeared to have good habitat. The northern site has dense low scrub and kikuyu grass, whereas the southern site has much taller scrub with more open ground cover. The population was monitored each year from 1993-1996 and 1999-2004. Original animals were found at both sites up to 2000. At the northern site, the number of adults found each year increased from 2 in 1993-1994 to 13-33 from 2001-2004, and number of juveniles found each year increased from 15-20 in 1993-1994 to 40-84 from 2001-2004. In contrast, no adults have been found at the southern site since 2001, and 1-5 juveniles have been found each year from 2001-2004. See Sherley (1994), and contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Sherley (email@example.com).
P. a. annectens, Te Huka Enclosure. 82 snails released into enclosure in total, with 77 of these released in October 1990. Initially, very few were recaptured. However, over the years to 2002 a thriving population of new snails has developed with 109 snails including 60 juveniles found in 2002. Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Sherley (email@example.com).
P. a. whareana, Whareana Enclosure. About 70 snails were translocated in total, starting with 18 in October 1990. Snails were moved within their type localities into fenced enclosures in areas where they were known to have occurred in the recent past. Rat poisoning was conducted around the enclosures. Snails have survived but as of 2005 no breeding within the enclosure has been detected. Several adults attempted and some succeeded (some more then once) to make their way home up to 70 m away. See Sherley (1994), and contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Sherley (email@example.com)..
Placostylus ambagiosus ssp., Haupatoto Bush. A fenced enclosure was established here in 1997. Unlike the releases at Te Huka and Whareana, it was decided to wait 5 years before transferring snails from outside into the enclosure to allow the vegetation to recover from stock browse and pig rooting. In 2002 9 adults and 9 juveniles were translocated into the enclosure from above the enclosure. Transponders were fitted to 17 snails. In 2003, 4 snails were found using the harmonic radar. It is assumed the other 14 snails had made their way back to whence they came, but we had insufficient time to search for them. Contact Richard Parrish (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Sherley (email@example.com).
Quail Island (off Banks Peninsula, Canterbury Region, South Island. Reintroduction. Quail Island's restoration program (Norton et al. 2003, Otamahua/Quail Island Restoration Plan) has included revegetation, rat and hedgehog eradication, and mouse control, and inventory (Bowie et al. 2003, New Zealand Natural Sciences 28: 81-109) and restoration of the invertebrate community. A total of 25 slugs and 32 eggs (laid by slugs in incubators) were released at the centre of a 3500m2 patch of 6-year-old native vegetation in April 2004 and December 2004. The slugs were collected from rotten logs, weta motels and wooden discs placed at Orton Bradley Park, held in ice-cream containers with leaves covered with sooty mould, maintained in incubator at 10° C, and released under wooden discs on Quail Island. Predator-proof weta motels were put out as a safe refuge, and a mouse eradication is planned. Predator-proof weta motels have been put out as a safe refuge. Monitoring of slug and egg numbers to date suggests that that the population is at least stable as of 2007. From Mike Bowie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ha, off SW North Island). Introduced to establish a self-sustaining population
of this regionally
threatened fern. Contact John Sawyer (email@example.com).
Matui-Somes Island (25 ha, Wellington Harbour). Translocated from Mana Island. Contact John Sawyer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Rangitoto Island (ca. 2000 ha, Hauraki Gulf 8 km from Auckland). Reintroduction. 150 small plants, and also some seed and seedlings, were planted at 4 sites, June2000. L. flexicaule was previously extinct in the North Island, but was once found at many coastal sites in Auckland including North Head, Takapuna, Onehunga, Rangitoto, Waitakere and Te Henga (the most recent record from the 1930s). Material was grown from seed sourced from the west cost of the South Island - the closest extant population - in a joint Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens and DOC project. Contact Rebecca Stanley, Auckland Regional Council (Rebecca.Stanley@arc.govt.nz).
Turakirae Scientific Reserve. Reintroduced from Baring Head and Turakirae. The goals are to restoration a critically endangered species to where it was historically present, to re-establish the coastal plant community there, and to develop a protocol for carrying out reintroductions of the species to mainland sites. The research component is being undertaken by David Norton at Canterbury University. Contact John Sawyer (email@example.com).
Bartons Bush (Hutt Valley). Reintroduced from Cater Scenic Reserve. The goal is to restore a threatened plant species to a site where it used to occur. Contact John Sawyer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mana Island and Matiu-Somes Island. This threatened species is being restored to these islands and other sites as part revegetation programmes designed to restore forest plant communitites. Propagules come from Rimutaka Forest Park. Contact John Sawyer (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence, central Wellington, North Island). Reintroduction. Between 2004 and 2006 just over 200 northern rata seedlings have been planted in the sanctuary to restore the lowland forest community. Propagules have been locally sourced and grown by Forest and Bird members, and seedlings have been planted in the ground by sanctuary volunteers. These plantings will continue as plants become available. In 2006 18 small rata plants were provided and placed in the forks of hinau trees in the sanctuary by Wellington City Council staff, to initiate trials to determine if rata could be established epiphytically. Additional plants will be made available for experimentation in future years. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Matiu-Somes Island. This threatened species is being restored to Matiu-Somes Island and other sites as part revegetation programmes designed to restore forest plant communitites. Propagules come from Mana Island. Contact John Sawyer (email@example.com).
Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (225 ha mainland restoration area surrounded by a mammal-proof fence, central Wellington, North Island). Reintroduction. Between 2000 and 2002 almost 100 Milk tree seedlings have been planted in the sanctuary to restore the lowland forest community. Propagules have been sourced from Mana Island and grown by Forest and Bird members, and seedlings have been planted by sanctuary volunteers. These plantings will continue as plants become available. Contact Raewyn Empson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marua, Upper Hutt.
Material translocated from Benge Park, Upper Hutt. Appears to be successfully
Contact: John Sawyer (email@example.com).
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). Seed was translocated from nearby mainland areas (100 seeds from Blue Lake camping ground, 17 from Hamurana) in June 1999. The translocation was part of the Mokoia Island restoration programme. It is likely that this species would have been found on Mokoia historically (before clearing and subsequent regeneration), but this cannot be confirmed. Whole fruit were collected, stored overnight in paper bags, and seeds were squeezed directly onto the host plants from the fruit the next day. 4-5 seeds were placed on 28 plants of mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus), wineberry (Aristotelia serrata) and kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium), on branches of 1-2 cm diameter. The host plants were in several locations around the island, all near the lakeshore and with high light levels. Subsequent seed translocations have been undertaken in following years but there are no confirmed Ileostylus plants established to date. Contact Paul Cashmore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). 51 seeds were translocated from nearby mainland areas (Blue Lake camping ground and Lake Okareka) in June 1999. The translocation was part of the Mokoia Island restoration programme. It is likely that this species would have been found on Mokoia historically (before clearing and subsequent regeneration), but this cannot be confirmed. Whole fruit were collected, stored overnight in paper bags, and seeds were squeezed directly onto the host plants from the fruit the next day. 6-9 seeds were placed on 8 fivefinger (Pseudopanax arboreus) trees, on branches of 1-2 cm diameter. The host plants were in several locations around the island, all near the lakeshore and with high light levels. Subsequent seed translocations have been undetaken in following years with various methods tried. To date (2007) at least 15 plants have established on the island. Most of these have established within last 4 years. It appears that it takes at least 2.5 years for plants to reach sufficient size (<10cm) that they can be located. Plants have all established on young, healthy fivefinger on small diameter branches. Contact Paul Cashmore (email@example.com).
Moturemu Island (Kaipara Harbour). Reintroduction. 12 plants translocated in September 1997 from ex situ collection at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens. The plants were of Moturemu provenance. The wild population on Moturemu has only recently become extinct, probably due to shade suppression by weeds. 2/12 plants were alive at January 1999. Contact Rebecca Stanley, Auckland Regional Council (Rebecca.Stanley@arc.govt.nz).
Dactylanthus is a fully parasitic, flowering, root parasite which grows underground attached to the roots of forest trees, obtaining all its nutrients from the host tree. Dactylanthus is more visible when the plant is flowering (in Autumn) as the flowers are sent up and sit on the ground.
Tiritiri Matangi Island (220 ha, Hauraki Gulf). Conservation Introduction. Seeds translocated from Little Barrier Island in October 1998. The aim was to introduce this plant to a predator free site, and also to have an advocacy planting in Auckland. It will also provide a second site as an insurance population in case anything happens to the site on Little Barrier Island. Seed was placed around the roots of known host plants on Tiritiri Matangi. Only one successful ex situ planting of Dactylanthus has been documented, and it took about 8 years for the plant to become apparent on the soil surface. No successful translocation into the wild has been documented, though there are currently several projects where seed has been planted in the wild. We expect it could be between 6-8 years before we see any obvious signs the transfer has been successful. Contact Rebecca Stanley, Auckland Regional Council (Rebecca.Stanley@arc.govt.nz).
Mokoia Island (135 ha, in Lake Rotorua, North Island). The initial seed translocation was undertaken in June 2000 with seed from nearby population on Mamaku Plateau. Seeds were sown at 7 sites around Mokoia in a total of 35 plots. Subsequent monitoring has revealed that only one plot out of 35 plots in total has a dactylanthus clump established in 2005. In 2006 a decision was made to undertake a second smaller translocation of seed in order to hopefully increase the size of the potential future dactylanthus population. Seeds were sown at 4 sites around Mokoia Island in a total of 17 plots. Contact Paul Cashmore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Waipapa Ecological Area (Pureora Forest Park, central North
Island). The seeding trial was established in January 1999. A total of 24
50 x 50 cm plots were established at four sites, with two different sowing
densities used and three replicates for each sowing density at each site.
Site differences were a) predominant host tree species (lancewood, kohuhu,
fivefinger) and b) exposure (open canopy vs. closed canopy). In 2003, 4 years
after sowing, dactylanthus had emerged in 2 of the 24 plots. Since then, all
plots have been caged (in November 2003) with fine (5 mm) mesh to prevent rat
and possum browse. By 2007 results have shown that:
a) dactylanthus has established in at leas t 20 out of 24 plots from sown seeds; b) successful establishment has occurred through both sowing densities, with equal success rate; c) broad sowing has resulted in a larger number of inflorescences overall and per plot; d) successful establishment occurred at all 4 sites, despite differences in host species densities and -ages and canopy openness; and e) the vast majority of inflorescences is female, a trend confirmed from the previous seasons. For further information see Holzapfel & Dodgson (2004, http://www.doc.govt.nz/upload/documents/science-and-technical/dsis173.pdf). Contact Avi Holzapfel (email@example.com).
All over the world plant species have adapted to the high concentrations of calcium and magnesium in dolomitic limestone. At Mt Burnett in NW Nelson, New Zealand, several “dolomitophilic” endemics occur, including two forest small trees (Myrsine argentea, Melicytus aff. obovatus), a forest fern (Hymenophyllum aff. flexuosum), a sedge (Carex dolomitica), and a variety of bluff shrubs and herbs (e.g., Hebe albicans). Alternatively, many more widespread species take on unusual forms on the dolomite, such as a dwarf flax (Phormium cookianum). The dolomite outcrop covers less than 10 ha of land adjacent to Kahurangi National Park and there has been public pressure to limit quarrying. The owners have agreed to a restoration plan involving the progressive closure of quarried benches as the dolomite is removed. The primary focus is on the endemic species, varieties and forms, and fortunately most are happy on exposed bluffs. These will be left with as great a range of habitat diversity as possible, given a need for long-term safety and stability. The plants are propagated from seed and cuttings, grown on in a nursery then replanted in prepared ground along each bench. Trials over 6 years indicate that the rare plants can be grown and returned to the site. Planting begins in earnest this year. From Philip Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Updated 5 February 2010