Toutouwai (North Island robin) have now been seen at Pukeiti, by the Ngāti Ruanui Mountain House, on the Tahurangi track and several times on the York Road track.

This is great news given when we first released toutouwai in 2017 they had not been seen on the Mounga for over 110 years. We’re pleased to know how far they have dispersed, however other than Pukeiti, the other locations currently have low predator control measures in place, so we hope these birds are safe from predation.

Since 2017 nearly 100 toutouwai were released into the ‘toutouwai’ block, a 1000 ha area with intense rat and predator control. Predators in the block have been kept at very low numbrs, compared to other areas of the national park, which has enabled the second generation of toutouwai a greater chance of survival within the block.

Recent monitoring within the block has been mixed. Over a six-week period, dedicated volunteers and a team from Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust have been diligently tracking sightings and the behaviours of these birds. Thirty-four individuals (both banded and unbanded) were sighted within the block.

We say mixed as though these initial numbers seem low, we are hopeful toutouwai have been successfully breeding and have been setting up new territories outside the toutouwai block where we monitor. We will continue to monitor and let you know what we find out.

Have you seen a toutouwai while out and about? You can log your sighting here: https://www.inaturalist.org/places/egmont-national-park

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