Restore our Dawn Chorus

Our forests are falling silent as introduced pests eat our native birds’ eggs and chicks, and the plants, seeds and fruit they need to survive.

Bellbird, Photo: Marguerite Quin

Bellbird, Photo: Marguerite Quin

New Zealand’s long geological isolation and absence of native land mammals – apart from three species of bats – have led to an incredible diversity of animals and plants that are found nowhere else.

Since humans landed on our shores about 800 years ago about 50 species of birds have become extinct.

Introduced mammals including possums, rats, stoats, feral cats, pigs, goats and deer are destroying our forests and the birdlife in them. Some eat eggs and chicks, some kill adults on nests and others eat the plants and insects the birds feed on.

In recent years, pest-free offshore islands have helped the populations of endangered species to bounce back, however to stop further decline of bird numbers and even extinctions we need widespread and effective pest control on the mainland.

Forest & Bird’s advocacy for effective pest control and its involvement in habitat restoration projects is helping to restore the dawn chorus in our forests.