South Island Saddleback1994

South Island Saddleback1994

Summary:

Worldwide Species Action Plans

South Island Saddleback action planThe South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus ) or tieke is a member of the endemic New Zealand wattlebird family the Callaeidae. It is closely related to the North Island saddleback (P. c. rufusater) which is classified as rare (Bell 1986). Other members of this family are the endangered North Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni), the near-extinct South Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea cinerea ) and the extinct huia (Heteralocha acutirostris). The South Island saddleback is listed by Bell (1986) as an endangered endemic subspecies with a very limited distribution. Although most saddleback populations appear to be stable, the small number of island populations, each of which has few individuals, indicates that `endangered’ is still an appropriate classification. The saddleback is a medium sized (25 cm), forest dwelling passerine. Adults of both sexes have similar plumage, the main feature of which is the conspicuous chestnut-coloured saddle on the bird’s back. Males have larger wattles than females. Young birds less than 15 months old have quite different plumage to adults. They are entirely dark brown, and have small wattles. The imprint of the saddle forms by the end of the birds’ second moult. These juveniles are known as “jack-birds”. This distinctive juvenile colour phase is absent in the North Island subspecies in which the young assume the “saddleback” marking before they leave the nest. Of the eleven islands where saddlebacks now occur nine are protected under the Titi (Muttonbird) Island Regulations 1978 and, except for Beneficial Owners, an entry permit is required from the Department of Conservation (DOC). Permits under these regulations are issued on the recommendation of the Rakiura Titi Committee. The tenth island where saddlebacks occur, Breaksea, is a Special Area (entry by permit only) of the Fiordland National Park and is managed by DOC. The remaining island, Motuara, where saddlebacks have only recently been liberated, is a Scenic and Historic Reserve with free public access.


  1. Notiomystis carunculatus
  2. Philesturnus carunculatus
  3. Philesturnus carunculatus
  4. AU South Island, NZ

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