Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley

The extreme weather and snow of the past month has affected us all. It
has driven the bellbirds, tui and silvereyes to the sugar water
feeders, amusing us all with their songs, squabbles and chases. And
like the antidote to invisible ink the snow made kiwi footprints
appear on many of the top tracks.

We hope the snow has also affected the mouse population – downwards.
More monitoring tracks in areas of high mouse density have been cut in
an effort to contain numbers.

Snow too has affected preparations for Sirocco's visit. Field staff,
volunteers and builders have all been working under tight time
constraints as well as wicked weather to complete the kakapo's living
and display pens. Special mention is due to the team leadership skills
of track ranger Craig Leach who is never deterred whatever the
weather.

Sirocco takes off from his home on Maud Island (Marlborough Sounds)
and flies in to Orokonui on September 1, making his first public
appearance on the 3rd. He is one of only 131 kakapo which now survive
only on restricted access offshore islands. This is an amazing
opportunity to observe one of these rare and extremely unusual birds
close up.

News and events such as night tours, Sirocco tours, mini film
festivals and social/ band evenings can be found on
www.orokonui.org.nz and the Orokonui facebook page.
The Visitor Centre is open daily 9.30 – 4.30 (cafe 10 – 4).

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