Threatened mohua transferred to Pomona Island

A mohua, or yellowhead. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
A mohua, or yellowhead. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Up to 40 threatened mohua, or yellowhead, have been transferred to pest-free Pomona Island in Lake Manapouri in an effort to establish another viable population.

The mohua were relocated from Breaksea Island, off the Fiordland coast, to Pomona, the largest island in a lake in New Zealand, last week.

The birds were caught on Breaksea Island using mist nets and flown to Pomona by helicopter.

Pomona Island Charitable Trust spokeswoman Viv Shaw said the aim of the exercise was to establish another viable colony of the threatened bird on a pest-free island.

"The island is an accessible location where locals and visitors will be able to see, hear and learn about native New Zealand flora and fauna, and the establishment of a colony of mohua will be a major step in that direction."

Pomona was cleared of five animal pest species - stoats, rats, mice, possums and deer - after an initiative which began in 2006 involving 200 volunteers putting in about 5500 hours of work.

The mohua translocation was conducted in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, and had been funded by Meridian Energy through a grant to the trust from its Manapouri-Te Anau community fund.

The exercise was the second relocation of native birds to the island, following the liberation of a number of South Island robin on Pomona in 2008.



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