New Zealand South Island kokako still alive?

This video from New Zealand says about itself:

Kōkako at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre

21 Nov 2012

This is some footage I took of Kahurangi, a hand-reared [North Island] kōkako living at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre in New Zealand. I had the privilege of hanging out with her in her enclosure – she’s too tame and dependent on humans to fly free. It gave me an incredible opportunity to get close to a bird most New Zealanders will never even hear, let alone see.

Before Europeans arrived, kōkako were very common across New Zealand. Each main island had a distinct species. Thanks to predation by introduced mammals, the South Island kōkako is now extinct and the North Island kōkako survives in just a handful of forests. The evening after I met Kahurangi, I sat in my garden and thought how much richer New Zealand would be if it was kōkako, not blackbirds, heralding the dusk!

From Wildlife Extra:

The thought to be extinct kokako may be alive

Sightings accepted of bird native to New Zealand’s South Island

November 2013: A South Island bird that was thought to be extinct may actually still be alive, according to Forest & Bird, New Zealand’s largest independent conservation organisation, which is dedicated to monitoring rare and endangered birds.

The South Island kokako was declared extinct in 2007 but earlier this month the Ornithological Society decided to change the bird’s listing from ‘extinct’ to ‘data deficient’ on the New Zealand Threat Classification System. That decision can after the society accepted a sighting of the bird near Reefton, which was made in 2007. The last accepted sighting was made in 1967.

Ten further sightings of the South Island kokako between 1990 and 2008 were found to be ‘probable’ or ‘possible’.

Forest & Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell said that, while it was uncertain as to whether the bird was alive, this was the best sign yet.

“New Zealand is thought to have lost over 50 bird species. If just one of those extinctions turns out not to have happened, it would be incredibly good news,” he said.

Hackwell maintained that if the South Island kokako was still alive it would “just be hanging on”. More pest control work in the South Islands was needed than ever before because of the reclassification, he said.

The North Island kokako, a different species, is still considered ‘endangered’.

South Island Kokako: The search for the Grey Ghost: here.

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6 thoughts on “New Zealand South Island kokako still alive?

  1. Pingback: New Zealand South Island kokako still alive? | ...

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