The Kererū Discovery project is a collaboration of partners (Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Wellington Zoo, Victoria University of Wellington, Zealandia, and DOC.
Photo credit - Tony Stoddard
Why kererū? While kererū are not classified as endangered, like most New Zealand forest species, their numbers have declined dramatically as a result of habitat loss, competition and predation. All of these are a direct or indirect result of the successive waves of human arrival in New Zealand.
- Although once in nationwide decline, kererū are becoming more common in New Zealand’s cities. If we can help kererū, then we can help New Zealand’s wider indigenous biodiversity.
- Kererū are a key species for the survival of New Zealand’s wider forest ecosystems which are under threat. Kererū are the only birds left that can disperse the seeds of large fruited native trees.
- Kererū are an iconic and highly visible species that many New Zealanders can easily recognize and are fond of. Getting involved with kererū will introduce many new people to conservation and community restoration. Research shows that people’s involvement in community restoration projects and wider contact with nature has many benefits, including increasing mental health and well-being, increasing connection with the community and improved physical health.
The Great Kererū Count is the largest national citizen science project to help gather information on the abundance and distribution of kererū, kūkū or kūkupa.
The Great Kererū Count will takes place over 10 full days each year. The dates for this year are from 16 to 25 September 2016. So get ready to get out and about and make your kererū count.