Protecting the kōkako

close up of kokako
© Matt Binns
Success Story

The Kaharoa Conservation Area is a rugged piece of Crown land about halfway between Rotorua and Te Puke. It is home to a remnant population of kōkako, which is protected through the work of the Kaharoa Kōkako Trust.

Since 1997 the Trust has been undertaking pest control throughout the Area’s 952 hectares, primarily through the work of a group of dedicated community volunteers.

Decades of conservation efforts have seen kōkako numbers increase significantly. The Kaharoa kōkako population is now the fourth largest in New Zealand. It contributes to the recovery of kōkako nationwide by providing birds for translocation to other protected areas, helping to improve genetic diversity in the fragmented population. 

It has not only helped the kōkako. Vegetation has also noticeably improved, particularly ground cover and low-level shrubs. There is also a marked reduction in tree mortality due to possum browse.

Though a WWF-New Community Conservation and Education Grant, we’ve been supporting a contractor to manage the ship rat bait stations in the areas not suitable for the volunteers during the 2022/2023 nesting season.