3:00 PM Thursday Nov 5, 2015
Poor or non-existent pest control has caused a catastrophe for one of New Zealand's beloved native bird species, conservationists say.
Dr Luis Ortiz-Catedral of Massey University said a lack of pest control in Northland was largely to blame for the disappearance of kakariki, the native red-crowned parakeet.
Last week, Forest and Bird released drone footage of decimated native Northland forests, also blaming inadequate pest control for the destruction of many native trees.
Forest and Bird said possums and other pests were running rampant in northern forests. This week, Dr Ortiz-Catedral said rats, possums, and other pests were killing off kakariki.
"This is a rapid collapse," he said.
Dr Ortiz-Catedral, a conservation biology lecturer and parakeet expert, said the kakariki had almost certainly become extinct in all areas north of Kawakawa.
"As recently as 25 years ago there were anecdotal records of kakariki scattered across Northland from Cape Reinga down to forest patches near Paparoa.