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Brook Sanctuary

New Zealand’s heavenly dawn chorus is in danger of being snuffed out. Britt Coker learns how the Brook Sanctuary will eventually become a part of a region-wide rescue mission.

Throwing our birds a lifeline P H O T O S : B R O O K WA I M A R A M A S A N C T U A R Y T R U S T


you were to take a random selection of nine native bird species, you will probably find something to admire in each of them. Beauty for some, a haunting song for others, or some unique niche they’ve pecked out for themselves. Appreciate all nine, but don’t get attached–three of them aren’t going to make it. If you think that sounds overly dramatic, read the 2017 report put out by Jan Wright, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, which spells out quite alarmingly the future for New Zealand birds if we continue in our current fashion. Of the 168 species, just 20% are doing okay, 48% are in some trouble, and 32% are in serious trouble. Perhaps you are surprised to hear this. Aren’t we doing heaps already? Isn’t that the kind of statistic we’d have read a decade ago, before we really began pushing back against the wave of predators? Yes, the kakapo and black robin would probably be extinct by now if not for human intervention. We’ve helped our native birds, but not everywhere and not enough. 52

Wild Tomato December 2017  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...