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The Ranger Journals

Protecting kereru - the NZ native wood pigeon

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My venture into the world of kereru began back in the late 70’s where as a young honorary wildlife ranger I began to realise that the species were in real trouble in Northland forests. I distinctly remember picking up an old NZ Wildlife Service bird survey report back in 1980 which stated that kereru were abundant in Reatea Forest. Hell, I knew the forest was littered with nothing but feathers and footprints, poaching rife. I wrote an article for Forest and Bird (Feb 1993) titled “Killing the Kereru,” and eventually after taking a scientist in the forest, was able to persuade the Department of Conservation to repeat the 1979 survey in 1993. I was part of that survey. It showed a decline in kereru of over 50% during the 13 year period (up to 80% in one forest). Since then, along with our constant law enforcement nibbling away, we have seen advocacy programs spring up, school education programs on the ecological role of kereru, iwi taking responsibility and imposing rahui, landcare programs restoring forest habitats and more.

For me, after all the years, I believe we have turned the corner now. This site and my journals tells a little bit of my story - my contribution to my friend the kereru. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Department of Conservation published brochure


Environmentalists and Maori join forces to save the Kukupa (wood pigeon)

Story: Te tāhere manu – bird catching