1 Oct 2007

Return of lorikeet seen as boon for Cooks tourism

2:23 pm on 1 October 2007

A hotel owner in the Cook Islands says a newly established colony of the endangered Rimitara lorikeet on Atiu might encourage eco-tourism on the island.

The birds died out in the Cook Islands about 100 years ago, but a new breeding colony was established on Atiu in the Cook Islands half a year ago to help with their survival.

The owner of the Atiu Village Villas, Roger Malcolm, says the bird colony might attract more visitors to the island.

"It gives us a name as an island, which is in good condition, not knocked around too much by human habitation. It was in a near original condition when humans first came here. It is a good advertisement for us, tourismwise."

Roger Malcolm says many residents are only now starting to realise their huge responsibility for the multi-coloured birds and their survival.