Conservation Stories

orange fronted kākāriki

Conservation status: Nationally Critical

My current favourite! Yes it changes quite a lot. The kakariki karaka is New Zealand's rarest forest bird, with an estimated 300 individuals left. I am fortunate to be involved in one of the four captive breeding facilities dedicated to the conservation and captive breeding of these birds. The 2020 - 2021 season saw 10 chicks hatch and fledge, this photo is of the proud Dad.


North island brown kiwi

Conservation status: Declining

The little kiwi bird, New Zealand's national icon. I am lucky enough to be involved in conservation projects from hatch until release, which often means I get to document them on each stage of their journey, from egg towards freedom. Pukaha National Wildlife Centre is one of the main centres with Operation Nest Egg facilities.

Whio

Conservation Status: Nationally vulnerable

In March 2019, as part of the captive breeding programme 3 handraised whio ducklings were released up north. The most magical part of the experience was when a pair of wild whio (from a previous release) came in to welcome in the new youngsters. It was so special to see them thriving and enjoying the water so much in their new home!

WEKA

Conservation Status: Vulnerable (Population decreasing)

In 2018 I spent a week on Rakitu Island with the small North Island Weka population. It was so much fun watching their antics, and they taught me so much about the species, from their cheeky steals to intense grooming habits. I still have hundreds of photos to go through, so watch this space!

kōkako

Conservation Status: Recovering

More likely to be seen than heard, the kokako is a stunning bird. I am lucky enough to work with the only kokako in captivity, Kahurangi at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre (the star of most of my kokako photos!). However, in recent months a wild pair have been visiting the front face, curious about what I am up to in their patch of the woods.

red crowned kākāriki

Conservation status: Relict

The first of the kakariki species I got to work closely with. From handrearing to their release, being part of this programme from the beginning to the end has been so rewarding.

kākā

Conservation Status: Recovering

The bush parrots! So entertaining with their antics, they are so much fun to observe and study in the wild. This photo is of a pair recently released into the wild, something I am proud to be involved with on a yearly basis. They have taught me so much about parrots and helped my confidence in handling birds (you learn quickly to avoid that beak!).

yellow crowned kākāriki

Conservation status: Not Threatened

This sweet little kakariki is the one found nearest to home. You can hear them in the Tararua Ranges, and I am hoping to be part of their release into a reserve a bit closer to home. In 2021 I joined 36 juveniles on their release on Puangiangi Island in the Marlborough Sounds., 16 of which I had been looking after from hatch until release.

pāteke

Conservation Status: Recovering

The adorable brown teal. Every year, two pairs at Pukaha National Wildlife Centre produce ducklings as part of the breed for release programme. It is so special watching them grow up and learn how to thrive under their parents watchful eye. I was lucky enough to observe a wild pair on Rakitu Island who had self-established themselves there.