The mission to save more than one endangered bird species has been enriched by the last years successful breeding programmes at Pukaha Mount Bruce
The Shore Plover programme saw over 10 birds transported from Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre to Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf and Portland Island off the Mahia peninsula.
The shore plover is in a perilous position with fewer than 200 left in the wild and a history of conservation efforts being hampered by rat infestations.
Shore plover were first spotted by observers on Captain Cook’s second voyage to New Zealand. The shore plover Is the most endangered bird reared and cared for at the centre.
It is very susceptible to mammalian predators, even one rat can cause enormous damage.
Past Department of Conservation attempts to establish shore plover on Mana and Portland Islands were undone by what was thought to be a single rat in both cases.
Illy McLean and Laura Hutchinson, Marketing and Communications, Pukaha Mount Bruce