“If you hear the South Island kōkako, it is so distinctively different, it will stop you in your tracks,” a line from flyers currently hung in huts around local hikes.
Help checking and protecting rare birds in the South Island can, literally, pay off. One lucky person who might cross paths with this rare bird will get a reward for information resulting in confirmation that the South Island kōkako is still alive so that it can be conserved appropriately from the South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust.
“The reward for evidence is still there — $10,000 for evidence leading to the confirmation that the South Island kōkako is still around so that it can be conserved appropriately – we really need a photo or a video. Unfortunately most reports have been from a very brief encounter – either just a very unusual song or a fleeting glimpse – no opportunity to grab a camera!” said Inger Perkins, manager at South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust.
Any evidence provided will be considered by the South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust and they will seek further appraisal from independent expert ornithologists. “We launched our public campaign three years ago this month and have received nearly 200 reports of possible encounters with the South Island kōkako in that time from across the forests of South and Stewart Islands. We review and grade each encounter report and over half have been rated probable or possible, compared to unlikely or definitely not,” concluded Perkins.