Our stand-out news has to be confirmation that bloodlines from kokako taken off Mt Pirongia in the 1990s are surviving today. One of the Pirongia males was part of successful captive breeding at Mt Bruce and the progeny was transferred to Kapiti Island and Tiritiri Matangi.
We will be trying our utmost to return those descendants back to our maunga. A recent survey of kokako by DoC at Okahukura has turned up 45 pairs and 6 singles. 9 juveniles were also seen (this is a great demonstration of successful breeding, but doesn’t mean too much more as there will have been juveniles which were missed, and juveniles are also very mobile so could have been counted more than once).
We are absolutely thrilled by the result – a big increase from the 22 pairs in the 2012 survey and although other factors will have helped, it shows the value of the pest control we started in this area last year. In preparation for the next season of pest control, four volunteers have started training in LUV (light utility vehicles) use so we can ferry helpers around our grid more efficiently. DoC funded half of the cost for us which we really appreciated.
We are also pleased to have appointed Jeanie Allport to the role of volunteer co-ordinator for this project.
Jeanie has previously managed pest control operations for the Animal Health Board (now TB Free) and Waikato Regional Council. She has worked in Above: Jeanie Allport biosecurity for the past 14 years, with bovine TB, PSA in kiwifruit and most recently with kauri dieback.
She currently works part time for the Coromandel Kauri Dieback Forum and as a trustee for Te Kauri Waikuku Trust. Jeanie is looking forward to getting stuck into the work at Okahukura.
The role will involve co-ordinating volunteer participation and ensuring all equipment and necessary preparations are in place.