Research

Kaka distribution on the upper North Island mainland


From autumn to spring (April to October) and peaking in winter (July/August), as available native food sources are depleted, Kaka tend to move from their breeding areas on predator free off-shore islands, to the mainland to feed.  


We are monitoring public sightings of Kaka in mainly rural and urban areas of the upper North Island (north of a horizontal line approximately through Te Aroha and Huntly).  These sightings are collated on a database and used to plot the distribution of Kaka on this area of the mainland throughout the year.  Kaka distribution maps are created in Google Maps for each year. 


In winter about 10-15 sightings per day are sent in by the general public, giving details of Kaka seen (including date, time, location, behaviour, foraging activity, tree species etc).  The rate of sightings reduces in spring, as Kaka return to off-shore islands to breed from late October. 


Some Kaka are now also taking up residence in mainland predator proof sanctuaries for the breeding season where pest control is vital to protect the Kaka’s tree cavity nest from destruction by introduced predators.  In unprotected areas, stoats, rats, and possums are known to consume Kaka eggs, live chicks, and even adult female Kaka.  Cats are also a danger to vulnerable fledgling Kaka that spend the first few weeks out of the nest and nearer the ground.


To send in recent Kaka sightings, please select the “Sightings” tab at the top of this page.

Research