The tūturuatu (shore plover). PHOTO/SUPPLIED
PEEK @ PUKAHA
Gosh time flies – It’s already time to vote for your favourite bird of the year!
This is a fun competition run by Forest and Bird to highlight New Zealand’s native birds and help keep them in the spotlight.
And boy do they need it.
Few people realise the precarious state of the country’s native bird populations.
Two-thirds of which – according to Forest and Bird – are threatened with extinction.
Like the tūturuatu (shore plover) for example.
A very small and rare native bird that seven years ago numbered only 150.
It was right on the brink of extinction.
The captive breeding programme at Pūkaha stepped up efforts to help and over the years has successfully reared many birds.
It is hard, slow work, and like all conservation efforts, it takes time.
Even so, Pūkaha has managed to release over 90 birds into the wild and today there are now approximately 250 tūturuatu found throughout New Zealand.
While the birds’ survival is still hugely threatened, it’s very satisfying to know that the conservation efforts at Pūkaha – and all those people who support Pūkaha in whatever shape or form – are making a difference.
Our rangers are subsequently very endeared to the bird and recognise that more needs to be done to ensure its survival.
Which is why this year Pūkaha is supporting calls to vote the tūturuatu Bird of the Year 2019.
But there are many native birds that need our help and many to choose from.
If you’d like to vote for the tūturuatu or any other that takes your fancy, head to the website, https://www.birdoftheyear.org.nz/.
Scroll down and you will find a long list of birds all in need of your vote.
This year you can vote for five birds.
Voting opened 9am Monday, October 28 and closes 5pm Sunday, November 10.
As the website says, “Bird of the Year celebrates our unique birds and with each vote you help give them a voice”.
We encourage you all to do just that.
Until the next time!
The Pūkaha Rangers.
Contributed by Alex Wall
- The Wairarapa Midweek has partnered with Pukaha National Wildlife Centre to put a spotlight on wildlife conservation efforts locally and allow readers to get up close and personal with New Zealand’s amazing native species.