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Have you seen a South Island Kokako?!

By South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust
  •   2nd May, 2020 May 2, 2020, 12:00 PM
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How can you and fellow hunters help us in a way that fits with your interests? We need your help with our search for the South Island kōkako and we’d love to hear from you.


We at the South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust (2010) understand that hunters have a special connection with New Zealand’s natural heritage. Some of our own Trustees are hunters too, as familiar as you are with the front and remote backcountry wilderness.


We would like your help with hunting for a very special and very elusive quarry of the South and Stewart Islands’ wilderness. You may have seen or heard it without realising.


The South Island kōkako was once a signature songbird of the South Island and Rakiura forests. Today its haunting harmonics are nearly gone from our dawn chorus. At the Trust, we want to locate this precious bird before it is too late to save it.


“We would like your help with hunting for a very special and very elusive quarry of the South and Stewart Islands’ wilderness. You may have seen or heard it without realising.”


By preference, hunters get into really wild places few others frequent and will be getting out there again soon. Like our own searching, you spend a lot of time sitting still, looking and listening. If kōkako are present, we’re sure that you will have the best chance of seeing or hearing them.


We understand though that you may be reluctant to share a sighting or an encounter with government departments for fear of disclosing your hunting hot-spot, or of having it locked up for conservation purposes.


We operate independently of government departments and are not affiliated with any. It is in our interests - and the kōkako’s - to avoid compromising your hunting if that’s your concern.


Please let us know how we can learn from your observations in a way which is sympathetic to your wishes.


The Trust has posted a $10,000 reward for verifiable proof that the kōkako is still present in our southern forests. More information can be found here.


We have also created an interactive online map in which you can see the sites where other backcountry users have reported possible encounters with the bird. You can find the map here and read more about us and this search on our website.


We’d love to hear from you – please email us at


Nigel, Ron, Andrew, Mark and Euan

South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust Trustees



South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust


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