Meeting 21st June: The Toutoutwai (North Island Robin) reintroduction to Turitea Reserve.

Meeting 7.30 Main Library Meeting room.

Advancing the science of reintroduction biology: the Toutoutwai reintroduction to Turitea Reserve

Long term, intensive pest control across 4000 ha of Turitea Reserve has reduced rat abundances to low levels and helped bird species in the catchment to recover. As a result of these efforts and modelling projections based on previous reintroductions, Toutouwai (North Island Robin) were reintroduced in April 2021 as part of the ongoing work by PNCC and Rangitaane to restore its biodiversity. As a large, highly connected unfenced sanctuary, this reintroduction provided an opportunity to monitor the Toutouwai and better understand dispersal and survival within mainland forest reserves where pests are controlled to low levels. Doug Armstrong, Zoe Stone & Kara Macdermid have been monitoring the birds since their release, and will provide an update on the reintroduction to date and ongoing management decisions within the broader context of international advances to reintroduction biology.

Doug Armstrong is the Professor of Conservation Biology at Massey University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has been working in the field of reintroduction biology for 30 years and is the Oceania Chair of the IUCN Conservation Translocations Specialist Group. Zoe Stone is a postdoctoral fellow at Massey University working on dispersal of reintroduced birds in large landscapes as part of the MBIE-funded project “More Birds in the Bush”. Kara Macdermid is postgraduate student at Massey University working on the management of the Turitea toutouwai for her MSc thesis in Conservation Biology