What’s a kakariki? Other than an incredibly cool-sounding name, its a kind of parrot that lives in New Zealand and thereabouts. Apparently, the red-crowned kakariki is an extremely rare subspecies, one of which has recently been spotted on the island of Maungatautari. It was once believed to be extinct, outside of aviaries.
Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust chief executive Jim Mylchreest said he had received reports of possibly several of the birds on the mountain.
“We’ve got an excellent photo of one of the birds and we had another report that three of the birds were seen up there recently,” he said.
The birds were once thought to be extinct outside of aviaries on the mainland.
The Maungatautari ecological island is the biggest of its kind in the country and recently the mountain’s 3400ha of bush area was completely circled by a pest-proof fence.
Steps are now being taken to eradicate all pest mammals inside the fence, while at the same time native bird and plant species are being encouraged, and new species introduced.
Mr Mylchreest was “very keen” to have the parrots on the mountain, “and we also want to know from members of the public if they see the birds there”.
So, if you’re going to New Zealand and happen to see a red-crowned kakariki, make sure to give Mr. Mylchreest a heads up.
(HT: Mustafa Mond, FCD)