Kokako for Ark in the Park

15 Apr 2010

Forest & Bird’s largest reserve, Auckland’s Ark in the Park will get two new kokako from the nearby island sanctuary, Tiritiri Matangi in late May.

The birds will help to bolster the population, taking the total kokako population in the Ark in the Park to eight.

Kokako were re-introduced into the Waitakere’s Ark in the Park last year – after a 60 year absence.

“Our six new feathery immigrants are settling in well, and hopefully, we’ll have a new generation of kokako fledglings later on this year,” says Ark in the Park Manager Maj De Poorter.

There are only 750 pairs of kokako in the North Island. The Department of Conservation aims to have 1,000 breeding pairs by 2020.

De Poorter says that the birds will give the Ark’s population greater genetic diversity.

The birds coming to the Ark are part of a small number of birds that the Kokako Recovery Group have decided to remove from Tiritiri Matangi to improve the genetic composition.

Unlike many other birds such as our pukeko & kakapo, kokako are monogamous, so ensuring that the population has a balanced gender ratio is very important.

Event Details

Saturday 29th May, Ark in the Park, 9- 10am. 

9.00 : people arrive at Dam Parking lot on Scenic Drive (see map attached) and start walking towards site. 35 -45 min walk. People requiring assistance with this, please let Maj De Poorter know at: m.depoorter@forestandbird.org.nz as limited vehicle transport can be organised by Auckland Regional Council for those that would have difficulty walking there.

Note the walk going there is all downhill, but the walk back is a continuous steep uphill walk for around 45mins.

9.30 -ish : people arrive
John Sumich on site to explain/confirm practicalities
9.45 Birds and accompanying iwi arrive at site and formal hand-over processes
10.00 Hazel Speed (DOC) explains to people how the release happens, birds offered food and water, shown, released.
10.15: conclusion at site and explaining where the refreshments are
10.20 : coffee, tea, biscuits and informal mingling (small marquee nearby)


Waitakere Dam is 5-6 km from Swanson Railway Station. Keep driving through Swanson, up Scenic Drive - keep going - until you get to the Dam carpark (our Forest and Bird flag will be there). If lost ring Maj on (021)0693594.

For details on how to get there see here 

To see a map of how to get there see here