By Georgina Tubby, Taranaki Mounga DOC Ranger

This touwouwai Black, Blue, pale Blue and Metal hasn’t been seen since his release in May 2018! PHOTO: Tony Green

During late spring 2019 and early summer 2020 our Rangers, along with some dedicated volunteers, were busy on the mounga monitoring our awesome translocated population of toutouwai. 

This breeding season marks our most successful yet with 19 pairs observed and at least 14 pairs having bred. Pair numbers have doubled since last season. Since their release in April 2017 and again in May 2018, our toutouwai have been gradually establishing a population on the Mounga and showing some great progress.

As well as new toutouwai, some of our regulars have started breeding. This includes Martha, who we have featured in the past. In April 2017, three toutouwai were named by Ngāti Rereahu (from Pureora where the manu were sourced) after significant iwi members. One of the gifted names was Martha. This season was the first time Martha has been seen paired and breeding since his release. He was spotted, along with his female, feeding at least two chicks on a nest which later fledged and then left home.

Dedicated volunteers and DOC Rangers.

Te Kau was another toutouwai named by Ngāti Rereahu. Te Kau has always shown fantastic breeding success and this year was no exception! This energetic male has had two female partners since his release in 2017 and has fathered at least five fledglings this season.

Today’s special mention goes out to one of our newly discovered boys with the leg-bands Black, Blue, pale Blue and Metal (pictured above). This cheeky boy had not been seen since his release in May 2018 but re-appeared this season with an unbanded partner and three fledglings in tow. This was a very exciting find for our team!

We were lucky enough to be joined this season by 17 amazing volunteers who gifted a total 910 hours to supporting this important mahi. An enormous thank you to you all! A special shout out to Tony Green, Pat Murphy and Graeme Taylor for their ongoing support towards the monitoring. These energetic members’ of our team are always willing to take new volunteers under their wing and share their incredible knowledge.

Toutouwai pairs. PHOTO: Tony Green

Want to get involved next season, meet some incredible bird savvy volunteers and get up close and personal to some very special manu on our Mounga? Get in touch with us at