Skraark! Sirocco the Kakapo here. Humble and unassuming as I may be, I’m always happy when someone tells me how fantastic I am… But this time it’s my turn to pass on the praise, because those nice folk at DOC have been picking up a few awards so I wanted to tell you all about it!
Up near Auckland (I’ve been there) are a couple of islands called Rangitoto and Motutapu. DOC has been clearing the islands of pests – I mean the small furry pests that eat native birds, not pests like me who jump on people’s heads – so that all my lovely birdy cousins can live there safely.
Now the islands are clear, all sorts of native birds are going back – kakariki, bellbird, pateke, and maybe kiwi and takahe in the future. Who knows, maybe some of my lot might end up there! Anyway, this project picked up an award from a group called the Parks Forum which has members all over the world, so it’s good to know that the work being done here is as famous internationally as… well, as me!
The Parks Forum people also gave DOC an award for helping create the fantastic Otago Central Rail Trail. Apparently this is for bicycles, not for trains, and as I’m not very good at peddling I’ve not been there. But 20,000 of you lovely people use it each year and it’s helped transform the area. So good on you guys, what a great way of taking something old and bringing it up to date (there are a couple of rangers I know who could use the same treatment)!
Finally, I heard this from one of my lovely friends on Facebook. A new book* about conservation says this:
“The prevention of the Kakapo’s extinction & the relatively rosy future it now faces represent one of the great achievements in global bird conservation. New Zealand has been at the forefront of… developing & implementing conservation solutions for species on the brink of extinction since the pioneering efforts of Richard Henry… The country’s conservation agencies, helped enormously by a steady stream of volunteers & donors, who have invested so much time, money & effort in trying to prevent the extinction of the Kakapo & many other extraordinary birds, have earned the enduring respect of the international conservation community.”
They’ve certainly got my respect, which is why I get up close and personal with them at any opportunity! So a big wings-up to all the DOC team, the volunteers, and the lovely folk at Rio Tinto who are paying for most of this… okay enough, it’s starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech!
An Oscar? Hmm, that’s something I haven’t done yet…
*Facing Extinction – the World’s rarest birds and the race to save them. Paul Donald, Nigel Collar, Stuart Marsden, Debbie Pain. A&C Black publishers.