This latest annual survey from Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research into birds in Aotearoa New Zealand paints a rosy picture for most regions. This is in no small part down to the considerable range of conservation work councils perform across the motu. The results include detailed regional breakdowns of which native and exotic species are increasing and which ones are decreasing.
Local government is instrumental in conservation efforts through delivering predator control and restoring natural areas in tandem with landowners, community groups and iwi.
This citizen science effort by 15,000 survey participants counting native and exotic birds in gardens, parks and school grounds illustrates significant improvements for many of our manu. Some key successes include:
- Kererū counts show a 102 per cent increase over 10 years, increasing rapidly over the last five years (57 per cent).
- Pīwakawaka (fantail) counts were up 47 per cent over 10 years.
- Tūī (kōkō) continue to increase nationally (30 per cent over 10 years), and increasingly in Canterbury, Marlborough, Otago, and the West Coast.
- Silvereye (tauhou) has good news. The data shows its long-term slow decline is lessening (10 per cent compared with 23 per cent last year), with a moderate increase in numbers since 2016.