Birds and beetles return to Mana Island
Working stealthily both night and day, members of Friends of Mana Island (FOMI), Ngati Kuia, Ngati Toa and DOC staff captured 25 yellow crowned parakeets and 80 flax weevils from islands in the Marlborough Sounds to transfer to Mana Island.
For three days in May they used almost invisible mist nets to trap both male and female parakeets on Chetwode Island. The birds were held in a temporary aviary then placed in wooden carrying cases and flown to Mana Island. “It was amazing to hear the kakariki calls in the Manuka trees upon their release in their new home,” said Jason Christenson, ranger on Mana Island. Two hundred nesting boxes were carefully constructed by students at Plimmerton School and the Ucol Conservation Corps in Levin for the homecoming. FOMI volunteers placed the boxes in vegetation along Bush Valley to await their new occupants. More than 380,000 trees have been planted by volunteers on the island since the mid-1980s, providing plenty of food for the birds.