The sighting of a rare white heron (kōtuku) in Pāpāmoa is being seen as a sign of a healthy bird population.
Envirohub Bay of Plenty’s community co-ordinator Cathy Donnelly says several social media followers have told the organisation about sightings of the rare bird.
“We know a lot about endangered native birds in the bush, but we don’t always know what’s happening in the populations of all the birds around us, particularly in urban and garden environments,” she says.
Envirohub runs a Predator Free programme providing free rat traps to households in the Western Bay of Plenty.
It is estimated that one rat will kill 50 birds in its lifetime.
The programme co-ordinator is Tracey Valentine
“It is great to see [a white heron] so close to an urban environment, and photos have been shared on local Pāpāmoa social media pages creating a bit of excitement.
“The kōtuku’s conservation status is classed as nationally critical (facing an immediate high risk of extinction). It’s great that so many people are getting an opportunity to see one of these native birds.
“By providing suitable habitats and reducing predator numbers we will see more of our native species flourish.
“People can make a difference in their own backyards by trapping for pest animals.”
Western BOP and Tauranga City residents can get a rat trap for free from Predator Free BOP https://www.predatorfreebop.nz/
■ Have you seen Pāpāmoa’s white heron? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org