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Did you know that nearly one in three parrot species are threatened: The Brook Waimārama Sanctuary

Did you know that nearly one in three parrot species are threatened in the wild due to habitat loss, pet trade trapping, and other human-generated threats? In Aotearoa, the Kākāriki karaka, also known as the Orange-fronted parakeet, is endemic but is in serious trouble due to introduced predators, especially ship rats and stoats.
We recently completed our annual density survey for this critically endangered species. Over two survey days, we surveyed 12 lines with 9 Department of Conservation staff and 11 Brook volunteers/staff. On both days, we completed 138 playback stations and tracked sightings in between stations at various locations to get an accurate population count.
After only 2 ½ years since the initial release, the Sanctuary now has the largest population in both New Zealand and the world. The estimated minimum size is now 231 birds, but the population is likely considerably bigger (300+). With a total estimated wild population of about 500, we now have half the population here.
We first re-introduced 104 birds into the Sanctuary in November 2021 and 21 in 2023. The population has grown from 125 to 231 in 2 ½ years, which is a remarkable result. They have dispersed widely throughout the Sanctuary, now present in almost every block. This highlights the significance of maintaining predator-free areas. By creating a safe space with suitable food and nesting habitats, as well as a dedicated team overseeing them, wild species can thrive the way they were meant to before humans. As a result, there has been a notable increase in the population, evidenced by the majority of the population being untagged.

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