Today’s photo is of a mōhua/yellowhead, a small insectivorous bird endemic to the South Island of New Zealand.
Once abundant in the South Island the population declined dramatically with the introduction of rats and stoats. Today they have vanished from nearly 75% of their former range.
Recent pest control targeting rats and stoats has helped to protect mōhua in 10,000 hectares of beech forest in the Catlins. Results shows that mōhua have increased to the highest level recorded since the population suffered a big decline about 14 years ago.
Rat and stoat levels will be monitored closely with the predicted large beech mast this autumn to determine whether a pest control response is needed later this year as part of DOC’s Battle for our Birds programme.
Photo by Leon Berard | CC BY 2.0.