Five rare tūturuatu/shore plovers were granted a lockdown exemption this week.
The birds were transported by Department of Conservation experts from Christchurch to Mana Island in Wellington.
DOC were helped by Air New Zealand and the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust.
The birds are part of a critical conservation programme to establish a new population.
Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said that there were just 250 of these birds left in the world. These birds are a critical part of attempts to establish a population on the pest-free Mana Island.
Virtually all of DOC’s outdoor fieldwork is on hold during COVID-19 Alert Level 4. However, the Department can complete essential work if it will help meet significant animal welfare. The work must be able to be done in a way that is safe for staff and meets requirements for minimal contact under Alert Level 4.
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