Monday, 23 April 2012

OROKONUI ECOSANCTUARY

by Sue Hensley

This is the first autumn for three years that there have been no rats
trapped. An excellent sign and we hope this nil result will be
repeated when the tracking cards go out.

The regular health check of the kiwi took place recently. One kiwi
whose transmitter had failed early on had not been seen since "his"
release in 2010 despite hard work by field staff and the DOC kiwi dog
and handler's expertise. However one night after a particularly
disappointing day a non-transmitting kiwi responded to the "human"
kiwi call and was caught. He turned out to be a she (bill length is a
key identifier of male or female but it can be tricky sexing juveniles
whose bills are still growing) and had put on a good amount of weight
as had the other kiwi weighed.

 The six-monthly health check of the penned tuatara showed that all
had increased in weight, body length and were in good condition. There
are significant variations in size between some individuals. Two males
of the same age; one weighed 99gms and measured 282mm whereas the
other weighed 47gm and measured 221mm. The smaller tuatara has been
re-housed with a female of similar size and age.

The unfortunate death of the female takahe while recovering after
surgery has changed translocation plans. Two males have now been
chosen and it is hoped they will arrive in late May.

Get those cameras out because we will be looking for some amazing
photos of Orokonui for a 2013 Orokonui Ecosanctuary calendar.
Competition details will be on the website.

Another great band night is lined up with Swampy, D and 5 Pint playing
on Mothers' Day. These and other events can be found on
www.orokonui.org.nz or on our facebook page. The Visitor Centre and
cafĂ© are open daily 9.30 – 4.30pm.

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