The Department of Conservation yesterday said the Kākāriki Karaka Recovery Group would be visiting predator-free Pukenui/Anchor Island in Fiordland’s Dusky Sound with the aim to release the endangered species there from spring 2024.
This would be the fifth wild population for the species.
Kaitiaki Rōpū ki Murihiku kaumātua Michael Skerrett said they were supportive of the proposal.
“Habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals has contributed to the extinction of too many native manu species already.
“We must do everything we can to exercise our kaitiakitanga [guardianship] and explore habitat opportunities like Pukenui to ensure the ones who remain can thrive.”
Doc kākāriki karaka (orange-fronted parakeet) operations manager Wayne Beggs said establishing more self-sustaining wild populations was a crucial part of the plan to ensure the species’ recovery.
This move would be a significant step forward for the species’ recovery programme, he said.
“The captive breeding programme, run by the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust and Orana Wildlife Park, does a fantastic job of raising lots of chicks for wild release each year, but we need more safe sites to release them.
“Our goal is to see kākāriki karaka thriving in the wild.
“The predator-free beech and rimu forest on Pukenui/Anchor Island should be a great site for kākāriki karaka to succeed.”
Representatives from the recovery group would be soon visiting Pukenui to assess the forests and infrastructure, as part of the assessment.