Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report April 2016

April 8th 2016 will be remembered as the time in our local history when species unable to return naturally were re-introduced to Te Whara/Bream Head.

North Island Robin

Translocated robins were carefully placed in a cool, quiet and dark setting before release.

Around 14 years ago a hand full of local people got together because of a common vision, a common dream…a dream that one day Bream Head would once again become home to endemic species lost from this reserve, from this region. April 8th 2016 will now be remembered as the time in our local history when that dream came true, the time when species unable to return naturally on their own were reintroduced back into Te Whara/Bream Head.

The release site was a wet saddle just below the summit on the northern side of Te Whara/Bream Rock, this was chosen for its almost year round moisture and its ease of access for the birds into cabbage tree flat and other good valleys located close by. Two robins were released simultaneously by our volunteers tilting the box carefully away from oneself and opening the lid on top of the box. Usually the birds flew almost immediately after the lid was opened, however a few took their time to get their bearings, take a few breaths and then fly off. Most flew a few metres to the nearest tree, steered back at the grinning crowd and then made haste for a good spot in their new home. For this particular translocation project the boxes were fitted with electronic processors hooked up to movement lasers located within the boxes. This was all part of a Massey Universty research project which Kevin Parker was leading, the aim of the research was to try and better understand the possible link between behaviour in the box and behaviour patterns post release, so future translocations may be able to select birds suited to their situation.

Read the April 2016 Rangers Report (1.4MB pdf) for more details on this and other stories.

A most important and huge thank you to the Department of Conservation for the provision of the Community Conservation Partnership Fund which was the funder of this and next year’s translocations.