A rare NZ dabchick has been spotted on a farm pond near Kerikeri. With less than 200 remaining in Northland, dabchicks are likely to be benefiting from the increasing amount of predator control work being carried out to protect kiwi.
Kiwi Coast Mid-North Coordinator Andrew Mentor spied the lone dabchick during a routine trapline check.
Andrew says “This was the first time that dabchick have been seen on the property and the landowners were pretty excited to hear about it”.
The NZ dabchick is extinct from the Sout
h Island, and there are less than 1800 dabchicks remaining in the North Island.
Andrew adds “This week, extra traps went in to the area around the pond as part of the Puketotara Landcare trapping network. Rats, hedgehogs, weasels and stoats are prime predators of this endemic native bird, struggling to hold on to existence. If the eggs survive to hatching, chicks are still vulnerable to these predators and now eels, pukeko and hawks are eyeing them up on the menu.”