Tuesday, August 4, 2020

North Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) feed on flax (Phormium tenax) nectar on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

TitleNorth Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) feed on flax (Phormium tenax) nectar on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsThorogood, R, Henry, T, Fordham, S
JournalNotornis
Volume54
Issue1
Pagination52-54
Type of Articleshort note
Abstract

[First paragraph...]
The North Is kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) is an endangered member of the New Zealand endemic wattlebird family (Callaeatidae). Typically described as being omnivorous (e.g., Best & Bellingham 1990; Powlesland 1987), kokako eat predominantly fruit and leaves, but flowers, moss, and insects can be important depending on their availability (Innes et al. in press) and the time of year (Powlesland 1987). Despite its being widely distributed across the North Island before European settlement (Innes et al. in press), the kokako is now restricted to scattered locations on the mainland because of the effects of introduced mammalian pests and competitors, and habitat clearance (Innes et al. 2006). Several attempts have been made to introduce kokako to off-shore islands, and 6 kokako were transferred to Tiritiri Matangi I from Mangatutu (via a breeding programme at Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre) and Mapara in 1997-98 (Innes & Flux 1999). The habitat of Tiritiri Matangi I consists of a mosaic of replanted and regenerating forest, 10-20 years old. The predominant species planted were pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus), cabbage tree (Cordyline australis), and New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax). In addition, there are 4 small areas of remnant broadleaf coastal forest, whose canopies are dominated by kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectabile), pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), and taraire (Beilschmiedia tarairi). The introduction of kokako to Tiritiri Matangi was controversial, because the island lacked the large areas of structurally complex forest thought to be necessary to sustain a population of kokako (Jones 2000).

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