Up to 50 North Island kokako may call Mt Bruce home, the results of a survey on the Tararua landmark has found.
Volunteers and Department of Conservation staff found 29 of the birds, which are depicted on New Zealand's $10 bill, during a walk-through survey of the Pukaha Mt Bruce forest.
"This is a fantastic result for Pukaha Mt Bruce as it shows our predator control practices are working. With a total of 16 of the 29 confirmed sighted birds being unbanded, we think that the population is most probably more like 40 to 50 birds in the forest," Pukaha Mt Bruce board chairman Bob Francis said.
"This result is worth all the fundraising we do every year to ensure that predation levels are kept low enough for a kokako population to be maintained in the Pukaha forest."
Around 25 North Island kokako were released into the Pukaha forest in 2006, with most of the birds having come from Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
There are fewer than 400 pairs of kokako living in several isolated populations in the central and northern North Island.
- Manawatu Standard
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