Rotoehu Ecological Trust work in the Pongakawa Forest year round, trapping pests and clearing wilding pines, to help give the native kōkako bird population a chance at survival. We’ve been supporting their work, with our blood, sweat and tears (and financially) since 2014.
Last Friday 4 members of the Kōkako roastery team packed their bags and headed off to the Bay of Plenty to assist them with their work in the bush. This year our task was track clearing - to make way for trap baiting later in the year.
The day’s workers met up on a gravel road near the protected bush area before convoying to set up base camp. While we made sure there was plenty of coffee to go around, Sarah, the Trust’s Chairperson, filled our bellies with fresh baking. Our spirits were as high as the humidity.
After our briefing we split off into pairs and each group was assigned a track to work on before meeting back at base camp for lunch. The groups who made it back first were lucky enough to spot two kōkako perched in the tree tops and heard them calling to one another. Hannah and Olivia, the slowest (but most particular!) track cutters, were too late back to camp to spot them but enjoyed their time in the bush no less!
Some of the Rotoehu volunteers with the gifts we took to thank them for all their hard work.
There are around 1595 kōkako pairs left in NZ, a vast improvement from the 330 pairs that were recorded in 1999. This is thanks to pest control at key sites by groups like Rotoehu Ecological Trust which has thankfully moved the bird from 'endangered' to 'recovering'. Our hope is that through public education, more funding and more volunteer days we can get the kōkako bird's conservation status even further, from 'recovering' to 'thriving'.
If you’d like to support Rotoehu’s work you can donate to them through Give A Little here, join them on one of their next work days or use the code ROTOEHU at the checkout when purchasing coffee (or anything you’re after) on our website.