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Birdsong in the Eglinton Valley

The Eglinton Valley has become much sweeter with mōhua birdsong after 100 mōhua were released at Kiosk Creek on Friday 6th October 2017. The mōhua, which were translocated from Anchor Island, will join a population that's been increasing in the valley since intensive predator control was introduced in 2009.

This was the fourth mōhua translocation in the area in 7 years in a joint effort by the department of Conservation, the Mōhia Charitable Trust and with support from Ngāi Tahu.

download . . . Melodic mōhua on the move - Media release 10 October 2017 (pdf)

Photo: Michael Eckstadt
Hawdon Valley and South Branch Hurunui Mōhua Monitoring 2016/2017

Great news from a recent population survey - The increases in Mōhua have been for the populations in the Hawdon Valley and the South Branch Hurunui and good nesting has occurred in both valleys. Here are some quotes from the reports.

"It was very encouraging to find so many birds in the South Branch this season. Not only was it the highest number of mōhua recorded in the valley since before the first translocation in 2008, but it was the fastest rate of increase I have seen in the years since I started monitoring the South Branch population in 2010/11. Usually there is a very high over-winter mortality of juveniles, but this past winter was remarkably good for juvenile survivorship both here and in the Hawdon. It was also good to see a relatively even sex ratio, with what appeared to be 20 potential breeding pairs from 45 birds." quoted by Marion Rhodes in her report - Mōhua Monitoring, South Branch Hurunui, 2016/2017. Great news - thanks Marion.

“The winter of 2016 seems to have been particularly good for juvenile survivorship, both in the Hawdon and in the South Branch Hurunui. An increase in the population from 16 adults to 25 adults took two years in the South Branch (2010 – 2012), but happened over the course of a single season here {Hawdon Valley}.” (Hawdon Mōhua Monitoring, 2016/2017, Marion Rhodes)

“While it is pleasing to see the Hawdon mōhua population increasing in number under its own steam, I strongly suggest we look at doing further translocations to this valley. The population is still so small that a difficult winter could make a significant dent in numbers. “ (Hawdon Mōhua Monitoring, 2016/2017, Marion Rhodes)

Well done team.
For further information and the reports:

download . . . South Branch Hurunui Report (pdf)

download . . . Hawdon Valley Report (pdf)

Photo: Michael Eckstadt
Another successful record breaking translocation of mōhua to the Eglinton Valley - October 2016

On the 21st and 22nd October 2016, 101 mōhua were translocated from Anchor Island to the Eglinton Valley. A total of 101 mōhua were caught on Anchor Island over two days. On the 21st of October, 71 mōhua were caught and flown to Kiosk Creek in the Eglinton Valley where they were met by local staff and school children, iwi and released. On the 22nd October, a further 30 birds were caught and flown to Kisk Creek where they were released by the catching teams. At least 36 of the released mōhua were sighted in the first few days following the release.

Photo: Michael Eckstadt
Mōhua Routeburn Track
(Photo: Michael Eckstadt)
Mōhua population gets a boost in the Eglinton Valley - October 2015

The Mōhua Charitable Trust working in partnership with DOC and Ōraka Aparima Runanga are very pleased to announce a successful translocation of 80 birds transferred from Anchor Island in the Dusky Sound to Fiorland's Eglinton Valley. In 2010, 69 mōhua were moved from Chalky Island to the Eglinton Valley in an effort to re-establish the species. Of these 34 birds stayed and settled in the valley, with 62 chicks fledging that year. Since then the population has remained relatively stable, with the survival of young birds staying high (74-81%).

Mōhua Charitable Trust founder Nigel Babbage said that for Eglinton valley mōhua numbers to increase further the population now needed to be supplemented. "The Mōhua Charitable Trust sponsored the first mohua translocation to the Eglinton valley in 2010. We are thrilled to be following this in 2015 with a population top up."

Mōhua moved to Coal Island - September 2015

Eighty mōhua were successfully moved from Chalky Island to Coal Island in Preservation Inlet, Fiordland National Park this weekend. The translocation will establish a new mōhua population, spreading the range of the bird's recovery on offshore pest free islands.

Led by the Coal Island Charitable Trust, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and the Mōhua Charitable Trust (MCT), the translocation supports MCT's aim to re-establish mōhua, and other native bird populations, to numbers once found in New Zealand.

MCT Trustee, Nigel Babbage said: "The Mōhua Charitable Trust is proud to support this excellent community-led translocation. Through partnership with the Department of Conservation, The Coal Island Charitable Trust is achieving impressive and tangible, conservation outcomes."

Yellowhead
(Photo: James T. Reardon)
Mōhua Released in Arthurs Pass - November 2014
Press Release

The Mōhua Charitable Trust is delighted with the successful release, on Thursday 6th November, of 58 Mōhua in the pristine Hawdon Valley. In the morning the birds were captured using mist nets on predator free Chalky Island off the coast of Fiordland by a team of DOC specialists. The Mōhua, accompanied by Trust Chairman Graeme Elliott, were flown by helicopter to Te Anau and then transferred to a fixed wing aircraft and flown to Rangiora. From Rangiora another helicopter flew them to the Hawdon Valley in Arthur’s Pass National Park where they were released. This translocation is significant for a number of reasons. It is the largest ever translocation of Mōhua to Canterbury and substantially boosts the numbers of this endangered species in the region. The Hawdon Valley is predator controlled and is the home to a number of endangered species including the Orange-Fronted Parakeet. Before the translocation there were 2 known Mōhua in the Valley. Nigel Babbage, founder of the Trust, says “the long term prospects for the species in the area are extremely positive.” The Department of Conservation and the Mōhua Charitable Trust worked in close partnership and have an ongoing relationship.

Interesting facts:

  1. The Mōhua is the bird on the $100 note, the highest denomination bank note in New Zealand.
  2. It was known as the bush canary by early settlers due to its bright yellow plumage and melodious call.
The Press, Friday 7th November 2014
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