Trial starting that could enable kākāpō to live on Maungatautari
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Gallagher Group Limited and Mankaaki Whenua - Landcare Research have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will trial fencing solutions that might enable Kākāpō to live on Maungatautari. The health and wellbeing of the kākāpō is paramount to this trial - providing a safe and effective barrier to prevent them climbing out of Maungatautari’s pest-proof fence.
Kākāpō is an iconic bird species found only in New Zealand. This large, flightless, green, nocturnal parrot was found on North, South and Stewart Islands but declined greatly with human arrival and became extinct on the North Island early in the 20th century. Today, kākāpō is extinct in its natural range buy ca 150 exist on pest-free, offshore islands, either by translocation or subsequent breeding.
Maungatautari Ecological Island (Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari) is a large (3363 ha), pest-fenced restoration project in central Waikato. The Kākāpō Recovery Group accepts that Maungatautari is currently the only site with the appropriate attributes on the New Zealand mainland. This is a suitable site for kākāpō restoration because:
- It is large enough to hold a breeding population;
- The forest habitat is suitable, and
- All pest mammals have been eradicated
Fencing systems have been used elsewhere in the world to safely and effectively deter herons, egrets, fowl, turkeys and ducks.
The MOU commenced from 31 July 2019 and will end on 31 July 2020.
Waipa District Council have provided funding from their Heritage Fund of $10,000 to go towards this project.
See www.sanctuarymountain.co.nz for more information.