8 Sep 2009

Kokako heard again in Waitakere Ranges

9:44 pm on 8 September 2009

For the first time in 50 years, the sound of kokako has been heard in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland.

Two of the rare wattlebirds were released into the forest at dawn on Tuesday, watched by Maori and regional bodies that have transformed the regional park into a living ark, Waatea News reports

Eru Thompson from local tribe Te Kawerau a Maki says it was a scene he was glad his grandchildren were able to witness.

"Over 50 years we've not seen or heard the kokako and the melody of it as it stretches across the Waitakere. Today is an historical moment and (we're) very ecstatic about being a part of what's happened."

The Department of Conservation intends to release 20 kokako into the Cascades area of the Waitakere Ranges during the next few weeks.

Whiteheads, stitchbirds and North Island robin are re-establishing themselves in the area also.