A flock of inquisitive kākā have returned to the coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park, another step in the vision towards re-populating the park with bird species that once lived there.
On Tuesday, 12 captive-raised kākā were released from a purpose-built aviary in Bark Bay. Until recently the parrots were considered “technically extinct” in the Abel Tasman with only a few wild male kākā remaining in the park.
Several captive raised female birds were released higher up in the park in 2015 and last summer six chicks fledged, proof that they could not only survive, but that they could successfully pair up and breed with wild birds.
Project Janszoon ornithologist Ron Moorhouse said the birds were a mixed flock, some had come from established, captive bred kākā while others had been raised from eggs gathered in the wild to ensure their genetic diversity.