Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation have launched a breeding programme for northern South Island kaka to improve the genetic diversity of the native parrot being introduced to Abel Tasman National Park.
To the untrained eye it looked like a first kiss, a touching of beaks on a tree branch.
But the first meeting of the male and female kaka, a nationally vulnerable native parrot, at Natureland Zoo on Monday was more innocent than that.
“They were just going up to say hi,” said Meg Rutledge of Natureland Wildlife Trust.
The brief but promising encounter marked the start of a captive breeding programme for northern South Island kaka at Natureland Zoo.