Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fwd: Orokonui Ecosanctuary May 2013

By Sue Hensley

On May 12 (Mothers Day) and May 19 limited entry will be available to
the lower valley. The "Waitati" gate which is accessed from the DOC
car park on Orokonui Rd and then around the estuary and along the
stream will be staffed between 10 and midday to give people an
opportunity to explore the lower valley including the tallest tree.
Normal entry costs apply and tickets will be available at reception or
exact cash at the gate ($16 per adult, $40 for a family,half price
for members).
The sculpture symposium was hugely successful and Orokonui has been
enriched with four beautiful pieces of work that reflect the theme of
sanctuary. Russell Beck's talk was a hands-on affair with lots of
samples of rock explained and handled showing the development of rock
to pounamu/ jade. People also had an opportunity to "sand" rock on
rock and to drill holes the way early Maori did.
The upgrading of culverts has begun with the first five now completed
(just 46 to go!). This has been necessary to help the flow of water
after major rain events and to discourage mice from burrowing
alongside culverts.
Many visitors have become familiar with the very friendly Mr Roto who
this year is 20 years old. He was hand-raised as a chick after his
mother was killed on the nest by a stoat. He spent many years at the
Botanic Gardens and then came to the Orokonui aviary in 2007 along
with his mate, to be aural anchors. In other words, their calls help to
keep wild kaka and newly released birds within the sanctuary area. The
Roto pair were released in 2011 when an injured kaka (Kleopatra)
needed the aviary space.
Mr Roto had not previously bred at Orokonui
and so it was very exciting when he was spotted at the aviary feeder
with three chicks in tow! Ranger Kelly Gough had her suspicions of an
impending family as his food consumption had increased hugely.
Just as this goes to press it has been confirmed that Mrs Roto, who has
not been sighted for a year, is the proud mother. She is doing well to
raise three chicks at 30 years of age! There are now around 31 free-flying kaka at Orokonui including eight chicks from three nests.
Information and events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our
facebook page. The Visitor Centre and cafĂ© are open daily 9.30 –

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