A desire to return moko kākāriki (also known as elegant gecko or Auckland green gecko) to Tiritiri Matangi Island is one step closer with the ‘soft’ release of 49 individuals last weekend. A soft release is when geckos are released into an enclosure before eventual release in to the wild.

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Patrick van Diepen was only four weeks on the job as DOC ranger for Motuihe Island/Te Motu-a-Ihenga in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park/Ko te Pātaka kai o Tīkapa Moana, when he had to quickly make the decision whether he wanted to, or even could, stay on the island during lockdown.

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This past summer the wingbeats and calls of adult tītī (Cook’s petrel) and kōrure (mottled petrel) filled the night air at Maungaharuru – ‘mountain that rumbles and roars’ – as they returned to New Zealand’s most inland seabird translocation site.

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