Kaka breeding pair welcomed to Invercargill

A new kaka breeding pair arrived in Invercargill this week. Photo: File

THE Invercargill City Aviary’s kaka population of four got a boost this week with the introduction of a new breeding pair.

The kaka pair came from Nelson’s Natureland where they were bred.

Moving them to the Invercargill facility at Queens Park would encourage a mix of genetics, minimise inbreeding and contribute to the national breeding programme.

Invercargill City Council parks performance officer Bevan Cameron said the male bird from Nelson interacted with his keepers, but not with the female kaka.

“We hope that the move will discourage this behaviour and the competition will encourage him to pair up and successfully breed.

“Our young kaka pair have shown courting behaviour, but have not successfully bred. It is hoped by holding two pairs as a flock that we will create competition, enable courting behaviour and successful breeding,” Mr Cameron said.

A successful breeding programme was important as the number of kaka was thought to be declining with the species being classified as nationally vulnerable.

Parks staff and Ngai Tahu kaumatua Michael Skerrett, of Waihopai Runanga, welcomed the birds to the aviary last night to be released into the native flight (aviary facility).

Today, the younger pair of the two current pairs would join the newcomers in the same flight.

Parks performance acting manager Kate Gough said kaka did not like to be alone.

“In the wild they are normally in groups, by having four flying together we hope they will be able to start exhibiting behaviour that is more aligned with natural behaviour in the wild.

“Creating natural competition between birds and a natural hierarchy is important for socialisation of the birds,” Ms Gough said.

The public would have the opportunity to view the birds in their new home from today.