Yellow-crowned kākāriki or parakeets are small, bright green with a yellow crown, and noisy. Once extremely common throughout New Zealand, today they are classified as 'near threatened/declining’.
Over three years, about 40 yellow crowned kākāriki from six different captive breeding facilities will be brought to the centre and released into the 942ha forest reserve.
Just before Christmas, WWF were thrilled to join Pūkaha staff and volunteers as they released four juvenile birds from Ngā Manu on the Kāpiti Coast into the forest.
Three flew straight out of their boxes and into the canopy, while one hung around on the ground for a moment before joining the others, singing, and flitting from tree to tree.
Six others were released a month prior and they will be followed by a group lately arrived from the South Island and just settling into the aviary when we visited.
As they adjust to their new home and get used to life outside, they will be provided with feeding stations. But eventually they will disperse throughout the forest to find suitable breeding sites and natural food sources. Establishing a permanent population of these little native parrots.