Good news - reintroduced bird species are doing well
Early indications from recent monitoring tell us that all the reintroduced bird species are doing well. We're seeing fledglings being fed by parents and unbanded pateke, toutouwai, tieke and popokotea are being recorded on Motuarohia, Moturua and Urupukapuka.
There is no doubt these popokotea/whitehead fledglings (bottom left) are cute. This photo tells a very significant story! Its has been over 100 years since popokotea were last seen on Moturua Island. Regionally extinct until recently, the parent you can see in this photo busily feeding its babies were reintroduced to pest-free Moturua in April 2016.
Most native reptile species that once lived on the islands would not have survived the onslaught of invasive pest-mammal predators. After pests were removed in 2009 it can still take up to ten years before reptile popultations that hung on recover enough to be seen. In December a reptile survey carried out on Okahu showed large numbers of shore skink - but no other reptile species recorded as yet. In February a Pacific gecko was seen and photographed on Moturua. This is the first time that any native gecko species has been recorded on the islands, and is a very significant find. Monitoring cards have shown what we think are Pacific gecko prints on Urupukapuka. We're just getting these checked out by the experts - so watch this space.