In May 2017 20 rare pāteke/brown teal were released on the lower Awapoto River at Hadfield Clearing, Awaroa Inlet.
Pāteke are the rarest native waterfowl found on mainland New Zealand with only 2,500 left, mostly in the North Island with only one other South Island mainland location, the Arthur Valley in Fiordland. If the population does well in the Abel Tasman up to 300 juvenile captive-bred pāteke could be released in the Park over the next seven years.
The birds all have transmitters and DOC rangers are intensively monitoring them. The birds are likely to forage throughout the Awaroa Inlet. As they feed in drains and puddles on road edges at night please be careful when driving to Awaroa. A single dog or cat can kill many pāteke so dogs must be kept under control and please report any sightings of cats.
Pateke can be distinguished from other ducks by their white eye-ring. Please report any sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the free Abel Tasman smartphone app – search for Abel Tasman in your Google Play or App store.
Watch our video about the pāteke release
Project Janszoon began releasing kaka into the Abel Tasman in 2015.
A few male kaka are believed to still be present in the Park but the females are typically killed by predators while on the nest. To help develop the population eight female kaka have been translocated to the Park, in two different releases. These kaka have been intensively monitored and four remain in the Abel Tasman, within a few kilometres of the release site at Wainui Hut. A fifth bird was last seen near Takaka and the other three have died, one from lead poisoning.
These kaka came from captive breeding populations in the South Island but there is a desire to release more birds that are genetically aligned to the northern South Island.
In late 2015 wild fledgling kaka were harvested from Nelson Lakes National Park and three male birds are now being raised at Nelson’s Natureland Zoo. If there is a beech seeding in 2017 the captive breeding programme will be boosted on three fronts. The plan is to harvest chicks from Nelson Lakes and the Wangapeka in Kahurangi National Park. The four females released into the Abel Tasman will also be closely monitored to see if they breed in the wild.
Watch the video about the first kaka release here
Photo Dr Ruth Bollongino
The Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust released 40 South Island saddleback (tieke) to Motuareronui / Adele Island in September 2014.
South Island saddleback nearly faced extinction back in the 1960's and there are still only 650 left. The bird belongs to an ancient group that includes the endangered kokako and the extinct huia.
Project Janszoon ornithologist Pete Gaze co-ordinated the release and lead a team, including members of the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, which caught the birds on Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds.
The birds are extremely vulnerable to predation and are only able to be reintroduced to Adele Island because of the work DOC and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust have done to remove predators from Adele Island. Since the release un-banded tieke have been seen on the island proving the birds have bred since their release.
Photo Brent McGlashen
After an estimated 30 year absence from the mainland coastal track 50 robin / toutouwai were transferred from Motuareronui Adele Island to Pitt Head in April 2016 by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust.
Robin are found in the higher altitude regions of the Park and were once common around Anchorage and Torrent Bay. The ATBT re-introduced the birds to Motuareronui Island in 2009 and they flourished in the predator free environment.
In 2012 the ATBT set up a network of around 200 Goodnature A24 resetting rat traps over 130ha from Pitt Head to Watering Cove. Project Janszoon funded the trapping network and given its success in supressing rats in the area it was decided the birds would have a good chance to re-establish on the mainland.
Project Janszoon provided logistical support for the transfer and has been involved in monitoring the birds after the relocation. After 3 months eight of the birds were still seen in the area but monitoring four months later found no trace of them.
It is not uncommon for robins to disperse after translocations but this was a disappointing result. Monitoring on Motuareronui Adele Island is planned to see if the birds have returned there and once this has been established decisions will be made about whether further robin translocations to the mainland should be undertaken.
Photo Dave Buckton / One Shot
You can watch the video about the first release here
As part of Project Janszoon’s work to re-introduce kakariki to the Park there are now four aviaries in Nelson and Marlborough breeding the yellow crowned parakeet on our behalf.
Lochmara Lodge, Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre, Queen Charlotte Sound
Lochmara Lodge has been breeding kakariki for Project Janszoon since 2013 and as of June 2015 have bred 22 kakariki that have been released back into the Park.
The aviary is in a beautiful location and currently has three breeding pairs. Interestingly the yellow crowned parakeet were initially housed in an aviary next to red crowned kakariki but moving the different species away from each other improved breeding success.
Ecoworld Aquarium, Picton
Ecoworld at Picton have been breeding kakariki since April 2014 and currently have three breeding pairs.
The breeding aviary is part of the work of the EcoWorld Trust which was established by John Reuhman in 2004 to encourage studies in science, heritage and education. The birds are not on public display.
Ecoworld’s first three chicks will be released into the Park in Spring 2015.
Tui Nature Reserve, Waitata Reach - Marlborough Sound
The Tui Nature Reserve aviaries are surrounded by native bush and volunteers and interns help collect native flora every day so the kakariki enjoy a real native smorgasboard.
They have been breeding kakariki for Project Janszoon since April 2014 and their goal is to have three breeding pairs. The first five chicks will be released into the Park in Spring 2015.
Natureland Wildlife Trust
The Natureland Wildlife Trust is located at Natureland Zoo at Tahunanui in Nelson. It is dedicated to environmental preservation and conservation of endangered species through involvement in captive breeding.
Natureland began breeding kakariki for Project Janszoon in April 2015. The first clutch of eggs was laid in June and is currently being watched intently.
Nelson Host Lions Club members spent more than 300 hours building a new aviary to house the birds and there are currently two breeding pairs. You can view the birds arrival on this video: