These results are largely due to the predator-free Zealandia sanctuary, and the measurable ‘halo’ effect on native forest bird communities, with the average number of native bird species recorded declining with increasing distance from Zealandia’s predator-proof fence.
Wellingtonians are huge fans of our feathered friends, and love reporting their findings through various apps and surveys, says Council’s Urban Ecology Manager, Henk Louw
“We have noticed increased engagement from the public, with over 70,000 citizen science reports of native bird observations collated over 10 years through iNaturalist, the Great Kērerū Count, and the NZ Garden Bird Survey.
“In addition to the halo effect, Wellington trapping volunteers both in reserves and their backyards continue to create safe spaces for the birds jumping the fence. Their continued effort is paving the way for birds to explore new areas and in some cases, even establish themselves. Re-introduced titipounamu have successfully bred in Wellington’s reserves for the first time in over 100 years in the 2021/22 season.