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Window-gazing still a habit

Since we became aware of the decimation of our small weka population by wild ferrets we have continued to keep traps set.

A neighbour has also commenced a trapping programme and has successfully captured and killed a wild male ferret.

His co-operation is most appreciated and we would like to place, on record, our thanks to members of the Karangahake community for the valuable assistance given since the commencement of the programme.

This has included allowing us access to their land while tracking wekas, reporting sightings of birds and informing us. of dead birds found.

On one occasion we had to do some major hedge demolishment in order to recover an expensive radio.

Over the period of the programme we have gathered a wealth of information which will be of enormous value to the future management of native wildlife, threatened with extinction.

The search for a new site to attempt establishing a weka population is gathering momentum and several possible sites are being investigated.

Around Christmas we sent a pair of weka to Rainbow Springs in Rotorua and another pair to a breeder at Kaitaia. So it's good that the interest and enthusiasm to preserve this personable and amusing bird has not waned.

We will continue to have some involvement.

After three years, we miss not seeing the birds that lived around our property - habit still causes us to glance out of the window that we used to regularly see them from.

It is possible that four of the released wekas have survived and that two of these may now be raising chicks on a neighbouring property.

With successful trapping of wild ferrets, these may yet be the forerunners of a weka population in Karangahake.