Rats attacking kokako bird

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Auckland’s mainland kokako population is at risk of decimation because of a rat invasion.

Warm weather has seen rat numbers skyrocket in the Hunua Ranges in recent months.
There are about 30 breeding pairs of kokako in the Hunua Ranges, and less than 800 pairs nationwide.
But warm weather has meant that fruit on the trees and plants in the ranges has grown rapidly – attracting rats, stoats and possums.
Rats are a big threat to kokako because they take the eggs and chicks.
The Hunua Ranges is the kokako’s only original habitat still in Auckland.

Kokako facts

  • In 2011, there was just 780 pairs of kokako left.
  • Kokako are endemic to New Zealand and feature on the $50 note.
  • The species is not very good at flying- they mostly leap and run through the forests.
  • The North Island kokako has blue wattles and the South Island has orange or yellow. It is assumed that South Island kokako are extinct, although it is possible they may survive in remote parts of South Island and Stewart Island.
  • Only 8 percent of kokako nests succeed if predators are not controlled.
  • The main threats to kokako are habitat loss and predators like rats, stoats and possums.

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