Fantastic firsts in the Hauraki Gulf

Department of Conservation —  07/01/2016

DOC’s Julie Kidd shares news of recent successes around the islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

Kākā nests on Waiheke

Two kākā nests have recently been spotted in Onetangi on Waiheke Island (the north east side of the island, facing the Coromandel Peninsula). One nest is in the Forest and Bird reserve, and the other is in the bush of the Graves family home not far from the reserve.

North Island Kākā. Photo © Janice McKenna.

North Island kākā. Photo: Janice McKenna

Kākā have returned to Waiheke over the past few years. Many residents have reported sightings; however nesting has never before been reported. Finding these nests confirms there is a really good chance a resident population is developing on the island.

Pest control on the reserve and in privately owned gardens, has enabled kākā to nest safer than ever before. The Graves Family have set rat traps, while family members and friends have kept a vigil around the nest to ensure local domestic cats and dogs don’t wander into the area. Mr. and Mrs. Graves said, “We’ve got the pest management under control enough to get the kākā chicks to the fledgling stage. The dangers are loose dogs and cats when the fledglings are on the ground.”

Waiheke Island.

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is just a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It boasts a wide variety of activities including gorgeous beaches, stunning walks, historic places, and more than 30 wineries. The resident (human) population is about 8000 people. During summer, this swells to more than 50,000 people, therefore threats to native wildlife increase significantly.

It is awesome to see the wellbeing of our precious native birds and their habitat cared for so passionately by residents. The group has set up Facebook group called Waiheke Kākā Watch to gather information on the birds.

Tiritiri tops off a great year

Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi were over the moon to see New Zealand dotterel/tūturiwhatu recently  nesting on Hobbs Beach (on the west side of the island facing the mainland).

Dotterel mum sitting on the nest.

Dotterel mum sitting on the nest

The single pair was vigilant on the nest, and it was pleasing for all when the chick hatched in December. Mary-Anne Rowlands, the shop and guiding manager on Tiritiri Matangi, mentioned this is the first occurrence of dotterels nesting since the restoration programme began in 1984.

Tiritiri Matangi attract thousands of visitors annually, no matter the time of year. It is home to many precious native species including kokako, hihi, tieke and takahe. What a lovely way to cruise in to summer in the Hauraki Gulf.

Tiritiri Matangi. Photo: Kathrin and Stefan Marks | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Tiritiri Matangi

If you wish to stay up to date with progress of species on the pest-free islands of the Hauraki Gulf, hop on to Pai and Piri’s Facebook page.

One response to Fantastic firsts in the Hauraki Gulf


    Great news on both accounts