Today we feature the kererū – New Zealand’s native pigeon – also known as kūkū or kūkupa.
Although still quite widespread in areas with large tracts of forest, kererū numbers are in gradual decline through habitat loss, predation, competition and illegal hunting.
Kererū are the only birds left in New Zealand that can disperse the seeds of large fruited native trees, like karaka, taraire, tawa and miro. This means the future of New Zealand’s wider forest ecosystems is closely linked to the survival of kererū.
A huge amount of work has already been done to protect and support kererū. However, we all have a role to play – the future of kererū, and our forests, is in our hands.
You can help kererū
• Don’t hunt kererū and report illegal kererū poaching by calling the DOC emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
• Be a responsible cat owner – keep and feed cats indoors
• Control pest predators in your bush by trapping and baiting
• Grow kererū-friendly plants on your property that provide food and shelter
• Help prevent kererū window strikes. You can use window decals or stickers on your windows to let birds know there is a barrier
Photo: Sabine Bernert ©