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Kakariki Breeding for First Time in 100 Years on Motutapu

By Jamie Watt

Kakariki (red-crowned parakeet) © Luis Ortiz-Catedral

From New Zealand News websites; New Zealand’s Department of Conservation released evidence the red-crowned parakeet has successfully bred on Motutapu Island, an event that has been absent for 100 years.

For the past century many of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf have been host to non-native predators such as rats and stoats that prey upon the ground foraging parakeets and invade their nests in tree hollows, burrows and matted vegetation.

This past June, a two year campaign was launched to rid Motutapu and its neighbour Rangitoto of mammalian pests, and the project manager was excited to see the red-crowned parakeet’s return soon thereafter.

The red-crowned parakeet is one of the five main species of Kakariki, which, a century ago were prolific,  are now very rarely found on the mainland and only commonly sighted on islands free of mammalian predators.  Motutapu’s southern island neighbour Motuihe has been deemed pest free and it was determined the leg band from the successful breeding male Kakariki had been released on Motuihe eight months ago.

The Kakariki are island hoppers and it is believed they flew from Motuihe Island several kilometres north to Motutapu, which is situtated 15 kilometres northeast of the city of Auckland New Zealand, in the Hauraki Gulf.

The usually solitary red-crowned parakeets were spotted on Motutapu by Luis Ortiz-Catedral, a parakeet specialist.  He concluded one of the birds was a recently fledged juvenile still being fed by it parents, leading him to the conclusion it must have hatched on the island.

Visit the full articles below.

Also see Luis’ Blog here on our site!

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