Kōkako chick in Parininihi Forest, north Taranaki.
Image: Amanda Rogers ©

Introduction

In their first breeding season at Taranaki one kōkako pair have laid a 4-egg clutch, the largest clutch ever recorded for this species.

Date:  03 February 2018

Last year, 20 kōkako of Taranaki ancestry were translocated from Tiritiri Matangi Island to Parininihi Forest, marking the return of this species to the Taranaki region after more than 30 years absence.

Returning kōkako to the site was a long held dream for the Tiaki te Mauri o Parininihi Trust and Ngāti Tama who have been doing incredible restoration work in their forest, which was returned to them by the Crown in 2003.

In their first breeding season at Taranaki, one pair - Parirau and Puoho - are obviously pretty happy with their new home because they have laid a 4-egg clutch. This is the largest clutch ever recorded for the species, which are known to have 1-3 eggs.

4-egg kōkako clutch in Parininihi Forest.
4-egg kōkako clutch in Parininihi Forest.
Image: Joel Henton ©

There are several chicks on the go at Parininihi.
Conrad O'Carroll with a chick being banded
Image: Amanda Rogers ©

From the first release of 20 birds, Parininihi now has six established kōkako pairs, which have already fledged three chicks successfully and have others on the go.

In April 2018, 20 additional kōkako will be translocated to Parininihi forest from Pureora, with the blessing of Ngāti Rereahu, to help increase the genetic diversity of this new population.

Parininihi is iwi land on which the Department of Conservation maintains the Mount Messenger to Whitecliffs Walkway Track as well as supporting with aerial 1080 and other predator control.

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