Wednesday, January 17, 2007

South Island Kokako.... EXTINCT!!!

Aw, sorry, lil' buddy.

I saw this article on South Island kokako declared extinct.

Call me a pollyanna, but it seems a little soon to ring the death knell. Maybe that's a little wishful thinking, but I mean, it's happened before.

Here's an article from a few years ago on the NZ Nature Co site:

"Searchers, Ornithologists and volunteers spend more than 100 days in the field each spring and summer, visiting a range of promising locations throughout the South Island and Stewart Island. Although no unequivocal evidence was recorded, a number of clues were gathered which combine to build up a picture of a species that remains elusive but alive:

  • A number of kokako-like calls were heard, many of which were noted at places where reliable reports of kokako had already been received.
  • A distinctive, unidentified moss grubbing was found in several places where kokako had been reported previously.
  • At one site, a kokako-like bird was briefly glimpsed, although it was not positively identified.
  • A large number of new reports were received – many of which are very promising and require further investigation.

"It is becoming progressively more difficult to offer alternative explanations for our findings", said search leader Rhys Buckingham. "While the South Island Kokako is clearly a secretive and unpredictable bird, we consistently find signs of their presence."

"What is most interesting is that we keep uncovering evidence at those sites where reliable reports of Kokako have already been received. There is a very strong correlation between our findings and known historical information."

The site also lists all the places where evidence of the kokakos was most recently found. It seems to be from around 2000. List of evidence.

There aren't many photos of the kokako on google image search, and apparently that's because the bird is so elusive that it's barely been photographed. The first image that comes up is of a man with binoculars, looking for the bird. It's from a website for a radio show where this guy is interview.

The guy is named Rhys Buckingham, and after googling his name, I learned that he has some Buddist books on his wishlist and also made a review of a Bright Eyes album he bought on Amazon. According to Amazon, his birthday is in two days. Do you think I should buy him one of his books? What a nice treat that would be for him.

Here is a link to the radio show he is interviewed on: Looking for the Grey Ghost - .mp3".

I'm kind of hoping that Micky especially will enjoy this podcast.

South Island Kokako


Jan said...

I found your blog by googling Rhys to see if he has any new hits on the SI Kokapo. Rhys Buckingham is a friend of mine and a very interesting guy. Did you ever make contact with him?

Katie said...

No, I never contacted Rhys, though maybe I will. Is there any new info on his search for the Kokapo? There's nothing I love more than thinking about the possibilities of presumed-extinct birds being discovered...

Kev said...

Hi there, I found your blog through googling kokako as they just had a news item on some North Island Kokako being released from captivity. During the news item we all recognised the distinct call. We heard a very similar call on a walking track here in the South Island and I was checking up to see what the range of the bird was. I was astonished to see that there were two sub species and that the South Island one was presumed extinct! I'm no expert but after listening to some recordings I'd have to say it's damn close.

Menora said...

Interesting to know.

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