Wingspan has successfully rescued the first vulnerable karearea eggs of the new nesting season.

Forest workers in collaboration with Wingspan sighted courtship activity of a karearea (New Zealand falcon) pair thought to be making a nest in a newly replanted area of Whakarewarewa Forest next to a busy recreational area.

Wingspan was concerned about the potential risk presented by people walking through the forest close to the nest so the team decided to take precautionary action and move two of the three eggs to safety.

Wingspan is now caring for the two rescued eggs in incubators at the Wingspan Centre near Rotorua


The chicks will be returned to their parents in about 30 days when they are a few days old.

One natural egg and a decoy egg were left in the nest for parents Maia and Hatupatu to nurture in a parallel-hatch scenario.

As the 2016 nesting season for karearea begins, communities are being encouraged to be "citizen-scientists" and join efforts to help protect the threatened bird pictured on our $20 banknote.

Wingspan founder and executive director Debbie Stewart said karearea, New Zealand's fastest bird, were "often persecuted and deliberately shot at or harmed despite full protection as a threatened species".

Ms Stewart said it was known that only 25 per cent of karearea chicks lived past one year.

"But with more education, awareness and sightings, an engaged community, continuing support from the forestry industry, and now new equipment from Kleenex Tissues allowing us to expand our breeding and rescue programmes, we're confident the chicks' tricky pathway from hatching in the wild, to learning to fly, through to adulthood, is set to improve."

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26 Sep, 2016 2:41pm
2 minutes to read