A New Home for Morehu

Program manager Deidre Vercoe and scientist Andrew Digby recently spent some time in Fiordland replacing transmitters, preforming health checks and ensuring Morehu was ready for his big move.



Andrew Digby in Fiordland. Credit: Deidre Vercoe

Andrew Digby in Fiordland.
Credit: Deidre Vercoe

Kākāpō Morehu was relocated to Whenua Hou/Codfish Island as a part of our ongoing breeding management of the population. Following the deaths of Smoko and Tiaho last year we had a bit of gap in the breeding age male population on the island. Hopefully Morehu will settle in well and help to fill this.




A couple of nice days gave us the perfect opportunity to complete the transfer. It was a long day for both the team involved and for Morehu as the trip involved two helicopter flights and a couple of hours of driving between the two, however Morehu traveled well and enjoyed watching what was going on around him from his travel cage.




Morehu being released on Whenua Hou. Credit: Andrew Digby



The helicopter landed at the top of Whenua Hou, not far from the release site. A short walk later and back down amongst the trees, the door was open and Morehu was set free. Though he took his time to actually leave, sitting at the front of his cage and carefully looking around himself before, eventually, scurrying off into the bush.






Morehu is doing well post release. Rangers have checked on him to make sure he’s not losing weight and is establishing a territory.

Hopefully we’ll hear him booming away next breeding season!

Whenua Hou. Credit: Andrew Digby

Whenua Hou. Credit: Andrew Digby