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Stories from the Kōkako Management Area

by Lenny van Heugten

KOKAKO Management

This is the story of the remarkable recovery of a very special, at-risk native bird, the North Island kōkako.

Prolific in the Hūnua Ranges in the early 1900s, by the 1950s habitat loss and predation had put the population under pressure. Around that time, an ex-World War One soldier found a nest and ensured it was immortalised in the first ever photographs of kōkako on a nest. By 1994, only one breeding pair of kōkako remained in the Hūnua Ranges. In a herculean effort by the Auckland Regional Council, the Department of Conservation and an army of volunteers, the tides were turned and by 2022, 4,000 traps and bait stations over 200 kilometres of tracks hosted the second largest mainland kōkako population at more than 250 breeding pairs, all within an hour of downtown Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand.



I have finished reading your wonderful KMA history and really enjoyed it! Well written and striking a good balance of tales and statistics. It made me feel proud of all of us who have been involved over the years and bought a tear to my eye remembering those who have passed away.  I especially liked the sentiment "they are not forgotten, with their names immortalised on bait lines, their stories retold". A very worthwhile compilation.


You've provided a terrific record of the operational work needed to restore our native forest. Thank you so much for putting in the time to collate it all in one place! It's brought back a lot of happy memories.




Your purchase will support the work of Friends of Hūnua Ranges in their work to protect the special environment which is the Hūnua Ranges. All involved in coordinating book sales are volunteers, so please be kind and patient waiting for your order to arrive. Pickup is available from Hūnua or Papakura.

At Friends of Hūnua Ranges we aim to support and protect the use of the Hūnua Ranges, including promoting its incredible history. Please note that all profits from book sales will go to Friends of Hūnua Ranges for use to continue to improve the Hūnua Ranges for future generations of people, plants and animals.


If you would like your copy signed by the author, please make a note in the delivery instructions when placing your order. 





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