Worldwide Species Action Plans
This is the third edition of a recovery plan for North Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni). It has a 20-year vision or goal (To improve the status of North Island kokako from endangered, by restoring the national population to ca 1,000 pairs by the year 2020, in sustainable communities throughout the North Island) although the plan itself recommends actions for the next 10 years. In many ways, this edition is a celebration of the success of kokako recovery planning so far. Since the 1980s, when the first plan was written, our knowledge of kokako ecology has grown enormously. We have now identified key threats and developed successful pest-management regimes to counter them. Kokako are declining on the New Zealand mainland primarily because ship rats (Rattus rattus) and brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) prey on kokako eggs, chicks and adults during nesting. Management to recover kokako populations should aim to reduce possums and ship rats to very low levels (10,000 ha) blocks; to improve the efficiency of management in small-medium sized forest blocks, and to re-introduce kokako to some mainland regions from where they disappeared decades ago. In order to attain the stated goal of this plan, we list 23 key sites which represent the necessary minimum management sites required to improve the status of kokako by 2020. Increasing the number or area of sites is of course desirable. Kokako management is mostly intensive pest-mammal control. As such, it is likely to benefit most indigenous components of their forest ecosystems. Similarly, intensive pest-mammal control conducted for other purposes within suitable kokako habitat may benefit kokako. The Kokako Recovery Group supports ecosystem management and will work with other groups, wherever appropriate, on projects of mutual benefit.