Evidence for the continued existence of the South Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea) drawn from reports collected between January 1990 and June 2012
|Title||Evidence for the continued existence of the South Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea) drawn from reports collected between January 1990 and June 2012|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Type of Article||Full Article|
The South Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea) was officially declared extinct in 2007, with the most recent report accepted by the Ornithological Society of New Zealand’s Rare Birds Committee, being in 1967. However reports of potential observations of South Island kokako continued to appear. We compiled a total of 241 reports between January 1990 and June 2012. These reports were categorised into 6 categories depending on the details provided by observers. The most highly ranked reports required identification of the wattles which are the most distinguishing feature of South Island kokako. The 13 reports from the highest category were submitted to the Bird Threat Ranking panel in June 2012 and, based on this evidence, the species was then reclassified from “extinct” to “data deficient”. The most compelling 11 reports were then submitted to the Ornithological Society of New Zealand’s Records Appraisal Committee (RAC). One report was accepted as a South Island kokako while 2 were deemed to be of North Island kokako. This paper reviews all available reports of the South Island kokako from 1990, the assessment process and a map of the distribution of reports. Our analysis of these reports suggests that the South Island kokako is extant.