News and information – Dawn choir becomes a symphony in Pōneke

Wellingtonians love to talk birdy, with the Garden Bird Survey, the Great Kererū Count, and popular Bird of the Year events on the local calendar, and our latest report and video shows we have reason to celebrate, Mayor Andy Foster said.

“Wellington City Council’s continued support to Zealandia, decades of restoration programs, effective biodiversity management, funding and assistance with predator eradication, and volunteer programs mean the number of species natives fly high and far.

“Obviously, there is no better recognition of all this hard work, passion and dedication that titipounamu choosing to nest at Te Ahumairangi – the first breeding of this species on our reserves in over 100 years. . “

Over the past five years, more than 72,000 parasites have been eliminated from our city through community trapping, including rats, stoats and opossums as part of the Predator Free Wellington initiative, according to Council biosafety specialist Henk Louw.

“With over 9,000 traps operating in reserves and backyards, this provides a safe space for birds to jump over Zealandia’s fence and nest elsewhere.

“We have also reached the restoration milestone, planting over two million native plants this year, creating connected habitats with an abundance of food and nesting opportunities.”

Each year we assess the status and trends of birds in Pneke, and 2021 is the 10-year milestone of this monitoring program, which means we can now see significant trends across the city and in some key species, said Daniela Biaggio, head of urban ecology.

“More significantly, we find more birds, more bird species and bird communities that are becoming more and more dominant by native species.

“The results of the latest report show that kākā, kererū, tūī and pīwakawaka are booming, korimako and kākāriki are also prevalent. While many Wellingtonians may not have seen the data, most know that The kākā are making their presence felt throughout the city and have become a daily spectacle in our communities.

“But that’s not all good news with species like the tÄ«eke, toutouwai and pōpokotea still struggling to establish themselves outside the safety of Zealandia’s fence, in large part due to predators.

“Continued pest trapping and responsible pet ownership can make a real difference to these species – so we may see native bird numbers rise even higher in the future. ”

We know science reports aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so to mark 10 years of the report and celebrate our successes Wellington City Council is launching a video with key stats and findings to tell the story. history of avifauna in Pōneke.

Main conclusions of the report:

• The number of native forest birds has increased by 50% over the past 10 years as bird communities become increasingly diverse and increasingly dominated by native species.

• The Kākāriki have seen the largest increase – 500% more than 10 years ago – and are now well established on some of our reserves.

• We are now two and a half times more likely to see kākā all over the city. These beautiful birds are spreading everywhere, finding new places to live. Some even go so far as to visit our neighbors in Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

• Another native who begins to explore new areas is the kererū. Their numbers have increased by 186%, and we can now see them in places like Johnsonville and the Miramar Peninsula.

• Our friends the tūī have increased by 121%. While these birds were already common, they love to feed on the Harakeke and Kowhai planted as part of our restoration program.

• Zealandia’s overflowing population is an important factor for change. We find twice as many bird species in counts around Zealandia than in more remote areas. It’s great to see that a third of the native species encountered have been reintroduced to Zealandia.

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