I BITE (jokes)
Meet the animals that call Natureland home
Breed for Release
The birds in our Conservation Corner at the zoo call Natureland home for now, but their forever home will be Abel Tasman National Park. We work closely with Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation to make a difference in our region.
Natureland Helping to Restore Kākā population in Abel Tasman National Park
Thirteen South Island kākā have recently been transferred from Natureland to an aviary in Abel Tasman National Park, where they will be gradually released into the wild.
“Three of the kākā were hatched at Natureland in December 2018 from eggs harvested from a wild nest and were raised by staff, whilst others were moved here from other partners in this conservation project,” says Acting Manager of Natureland, Sam Page.
“Natureland was supported in this work through generous grants from the Rātā Foundation and the overall project has been a collaboration between the Department of Conservation, Project Janszoon,
Natureland Wildlife Trust, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, Dunedin Botanic Garden, Bush Haven and Queenspark Invercargill,” says Page.
Hand rearing is an intensive process. Chicks required feeding six times each day between the hours of 6am and 10pm and had to be kept in conditions that perfectly matched a natural nest – including temperature, light and humidity levels. Intensive feeding continued for four months before the birds were fully weaned onto solid diets.
Once on solids, the young birds were moved to a number of aviaries at Natureland, where they were provided with leafy branches, fruits and seeds of native plants in order to encourage natural behaviours that they would rely on upon release. The thirteen kākā were fitted with radio trackers before being taken to the pre-release aviaries in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Project Janszoon Director Bruce Vander Lee says he is grateful for the support of Natureland and the work their staff have done over the last year to prepare the kākā for release into the Abel Tasman National Park. “It is fulfilling to see our partnership with Natureland leading to real conservation outcomes in the Park,” he says.
“I’m really proud of our hard-working team and what we have contributed towards this conservation project. These incredible kākā have had the best possible start to life and although we will all miss their antics, it thrilling to know they will be thriving out in the Abel Tasman area,” says Page.
“We are pleased to be continuing our work with Project Janszoon. We still have three resident pairs of kākā at Natureland, which we hope will soon be producing offspring that will also be released into the wild.”
Saving species is a team effort and we believe the best kind of conservation is collaboration. We work with partners who share our vision to connect humans and wildlife.
Hang with the Locals
Become part of the zoo crew! Members have unlimited entry to Natureland for a whole year from date of purchase, so you can always be in the know with who is new at at the zoo.
Let us look after your little monkeys each school holidays. These popular programmes book out quickly, so get in early to let your little ones go wild.
There are many ways to support the zoo, and all are valuable to helping us create a bright future for animals.
Child (2-13yrs) $6.00
Under 2 $FREE
Group pass (2 adults, 2 children) $30.00
*20% discount for students with valid ID and holders of community services or gold cards.
Open 364 days a year!
9.30am – 4.30pm
(last entry 3.45pm)