New Zealand’s native bush robins, also known as toutouwai, are making a return to the lower reaches of Abel Tasman National Park, thanks to the conservation efforts of Project Janszoon.
Using innovative acoustic monitoring technology, the project tracks the distribution of forest bird populations within the park, and the results from 2022 have been extremely promising.
According to Project Janszoon Director Bruce Vander Lee, the recent data revealed a significant increase in the call rates of robins. These delightful small forest birds were detected at double the number of sites compared to 2019. Vander Lee explained that when the project began, robins were confined to higher elevation areas where rat densities were naturally lower. However, their return to the lowland areas indicates that the dedicated pest control efforts are yielding positive results.
The increasing number of robins across the landscape is a clear indication that predator control measures are having a tangible impact. Vander Lee emphasized the significance of this shift, stating that it demonstrates the effectiveness of the hard work being done to protect these precious native species.
Robins are not only cherished birds but also serve as wonderful ambassadors for New Zealand. Vander Lee described the enchanting experiences people have with these curious creatures. When stopping along a track in Abel Tasman, it’s not uncommon for a robin to approach closely, displaying their inquisitiveness towards humans. Their visibility and friendly nature create unforgettable moments for visitors exploring the region.
The vision of Project Janszoon is for people to be able to stroll along the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline and witness the full array of native species that once flourished there. To support their conservation efforts, Project Janszoon is encouraging anyone who spots robins along the coast to report their sightings through the Abel Tasman Virtual Visitor Centre app. This valuable information will aid in further monitoring and protection of these delightful birds.
Thanks to the collective efforts of Project Janszoon and the community, the native bush robins are reclaiming their historical habitats in Abel Tasman National Park. This remarkable success story showcases the positive outcomes that can be achieved through dedicated conservation initiatives and inspires hope for the continued preservation of New Zealand’s unique wildlife.