New Zealand’s latest and greatest conservation news
Amidst so much negative news, it can be easy to miss all the exciting announcements and developments in the world. Just in case you missed them, here are some of the best pieces of conservation news from New Zealand recently!
Frog population booms after 1080 operation
A successful 1080 operation in Whareorino has seen populations of rats and possums take a nosedive, which has allowed the frog population to increase substantially. In fact, post-operation monitoring programs failed to find any rats at all, and possums were down to just 1 per cent. Recent rainfall has destroyed leftover 1080 bait, and traps have been set to ensure rat numbers remain low.
New enclosures help takahe breeding season
The Department of Conservation has completed two new safe enclosures for takahe at the Burwood Takahe Centre near Hamilton. This means that the six breeding pairs on site now have two new secure areas to raise their chicks throughout spring, which can be a huge boost for the Recovery Programme working to support this precious bird’s growing population.
Coastal marine species get help from the High Court
The High Court backed a 2016 Environmental Court finding saying that regional councils would have the right to protect their marine environment. This means that individual councils can decide to regulate fishing activity and protect native marine species, rather than leaving it up to the government. Forest and Bird lawyer Sally Gepp said that the decision could have important consequences for seabirds, penguins, and Maui’s dolphins around New Zealand.
51 black stilt released into the Mackenzie Basin
More than 50 black stilts were released into the Mackenzie Basin in late August, adding to the 60 birds already released in the Tasman Valley earlier in the month. The black stilt is the rarest wading bird in the world, and these recent releases signify big steps in helping the populations improve. In addition to these events, the Department of Conservation is working to control predators in black stilt habitats. In total, it brings the number of birds in the wild up from just 23 to an impressive 106 adult birds.
Kokako enjoys more than a thousand per cent increase since 1990
The kokako is one of New Zealand’s endemic endangered species, and it has seen a population increase of more than a thousand since its low point in 1990. Conservation officers conducted a 1080 drop in 1990 that is credited for saving the population, and continued efforts to reduce predators and encourage breeding has seen the species go from just five pairs up to 60 pairs, plus 29 single birds. The kokako is known for its haunting birdsong, and conservation minister Maggie Barry is excited and hopeful for the future of this special species.
As a company that lives and breathes birds, plantlife, and marine life, Habitat Tours celebrates every conservation success around New Zealand and the world. Join us on a New Zealand eco tour so we can show you some of our favourite spots and species.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist