Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kaharoa Kōkako Trust

Each year the team at Pauanesia donate a percentage of our sales to local charities. Last year our $500 donation to the Kaharoa Kōkako Trust enabled them to purchase 3 new stoat traps which have already been put to good use! We also made donations to Kākāpō Recovery.

The Kaharoa Kōkako Trust was formed in 1997 by a group of local residents who wanted to save and support the few kōkako that remained in their area. Their focus has been reducing the number of possums and ship rats in the Kaharoa Conservation Area and their hard work has enabled kōkako numbers to grow. There are now 173 territorial kōkako, comprising 77 pairs and 19 single territory holders. The work is labour-intensive and is carried out by groups of dedicated volunteers.

The increasing number of kōkako at Kaharoa is living proof of how the community can play a vital role in enhancing the environment. We are so thankful for their work.

A little about the kōkako.
The North Island kōkako, identified by their blue wattle, slate grey plumage and black mask, are only found in New Zealand. Sadly our South Island kōkako, with their distinctive orange wattle, are presumed to be extinct.

Kōkako have a beautiful, clear, organ-like song, which you can listen to on the Trust's website, here. Their song can carry for kilometres and different populations in different parts of the North Island have distinctly different songs. Breeding pairs sing together in a bell-like duet for up to an hour in the early morning.

The kōkako are poor fliers and they seldom fly for more than 100 metres. The bird prefers to hop and leap from branch to branch on its powerful legs or glide longer distances. Māori legend has it that the kōkako's long, lean legs were a gift from Maui after the bird filled its wattles with water to quench Maui's thirst as he fought the sun.

You can keep up to date with the Trust via their facebook page here or find out how you can support their mission too, here.

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