The Brook Waimārama Sanctuary is proud to announce it is backing the kākāriki karaka / Orange-fronted parakeet for Forest and Bird’s ‘Bird of The Century’ competition. The Sanctuary launched their campaign yesterday at their bi-annual Open Day event, where 1440 visitors turned up to celebrate conservation in action whilst learning about the need to safeguard our precious species such as the kākāriki karaka.
The kākāriki karaka is New Zealand’s rarest parakeet and a vibrant and chatty forest-dwelling manu. They are found only within Te Waipounamu (the South Island).
Image by Deb Corbett
The Brook Waimārama Sanctuary Chief Executive Ru Collin says the Sanctuary is proud to be the campaign managers for the vulnerable manu to take out the hotly contested Bird of the Year competition. Voting is Open from today until 12 November and the Sanctuary would like to encourage not only all Nelsonians, but also all New Zealanders to vote for this taonga species. This year is special, as its Forest and Birds 100th year, the competition is also also the ‘bird of the century’
Until recently, kākāriki karaka suitable habitat was limited to only a few offshore islands due to the impact of introduced predators and habitat destruction. Today, they are confined to four beech forest valleys within Te Waipounamu.
Alongside Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu, the Department of Conservation, and Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, the Sanctuary has been working hard to establish a thriving population of kākāriki karaka in Whakatū Nelson with the support of Te Tau Ihu iwi for the past two years.
“The latest population survey was very positive, with results about to be released later this week which indicate that the Sanctuary is now housing the largest population of kākāriki karaka on the mainland,” says Ru.
Te Tauihu (top-of-the-south region) iwi are delighted with the current success with this taonga species and the co operation displayed throughout the translocations.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kākāriki Karaka Representative Yvette Couch-Lewis says the iwi is very supportive of the sanctuary’s mahi to help protect kākāriki karaka.
“We are pleased our manu have a safe place to thrive away from predators. The Sanctuary is also a great opportunity for Ngāi Tahu whānau and all New Zealanders to engage with this critically endangered manu first hand, as manuhiri may spot kākāriki karaka or hear their chatter during a hikoī.
“Kākāriki karaka often nest in the hollows of beech trees, and because of this are particularly vulnerable to predation from introduced mammalian pests, making the Sanctuary an ideal refuge.” she says.
Ru Collin says the Sanctuary would like to see the bird not just survive, but thrive across the South Island as it once did. Although the bird has made a remarkable recovery, there is still a long way to go.
“Vote kākāriki and let’s celebrate this remarkable manu that is working hard to bounce back from the brink of extinction!”
Follow the Sanctuary’s campaign page on Facebook ‘Kākāriki karaka for Bird of the Century’
For more about the Sanctuary see link https://www.brooksanctuary.org.nz/
Learn more about Kākāriki karaka here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/nz-parakeet-kakariki/orange-fronted-parakeet/