Recovery of North Island kākā (Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis) within Pureora Forest Park, 2000–2020
- Department of Conservation, Private Bag 4715, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
- Department of Conservation, Private Bag 11010, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
- Ara Institute of Canterbury, PO Box 540, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
To test the long-term efficacy of mammalian pest control, annual distance sampling estimates of the density of North Island kākā (Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis) within the southern Waipapa Ecological Area (WEA), Pureora Forest Park from 2008–2020 are compared to previously published estimates made at the same sites and time of year (October) between 2000–2007. Kākā density increased approximately four-fold from an average of c. 0.5 (95% CI 0.5–0.6) birds ha−1 between 2000 and 2007 to c. 2.3 (95% CI 1.9–2.8) birds ha−1 in 2020. The average of rate of increase between 2000 and 2018 was c. 6.9% per annum. Kākā recovery is likely to be a function of multiple mast events and long-term (> 20 years), large-scale, frequent, effective control of possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and probably mustelids. It is recommended that the current pest control as well as kākā and pest monitoring continue.