Threats to our Weta

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The decline of most wētā is due to three major causes:


Cool word but with serious meaning. During the Weta's very long history in Aotearoa, it has evolved along with native predators such as bats, birds and reptiles. But with the introduction of nasty mammals like cats, rats, stoats and hedgehogs, our long lived Weta are up against it, especially as this introduction has occured rapidly in a geological sense.

Habitat Destruction

Yes, us humans feature quite a bit when in comes to the cause of Weta decline. The impact of humans on the New Zealand landscape has caused a reduction in the area that Weta reside. Fortunately the Hunua Regional Park should be around for a very long time, keeping a fairly large block of land that suits our herbivorous friend. And of course if you sponsor a Friends of Hunua Ranges Weta Hotel, you will be reversing the trend and providing new habitat options!


Part of the threat to the Weta is in the habitat modification brought about by browsing animals such as goats, deer. This could also mean the likes of native animals such as the moa, although weka evolved alongside the moa - somewhat different to the sudden introduction when humans introduce likestock.

The modification of weta habitat caused by browsers ranges from everything from complete removal of species or changing the species mix that they prefer to live in or feed on by direct ‘browsing' through to ground disturbance with those cloven hooves or eating fruit or flowers that prevent regeneration.

The problem is twofold. As the Weta is in the main a plant eater it has a preference for the softer new growth, the same parts as preferred by their bigger competitors. This loss of food as well as the way in which the browsing tends to reshape the plant can make life just too difficult for our Wetas and they move on, if they can to a more hospitable area. This is where we can help, both by providing areas where stock has been excluded, threats such as Rats and Possums are controlled and suitable safe havens exist, in particular where there is a lack of such places naturally. 

In some ways, your support of weta by giving them a Weta Hotel helps pay back the impact of our modern lifestyle.

Recovery efforts

Thanks to some great projects out there such as DOC's threatened wētā recovery plan, and the Weta Hotel project by Friends of Hunua Ranges, we hope we are giving the weta every possible chance to survive the ever dynamic world and be around after the next lot of dinosars. 

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