Get involved

topten

The Top 10 lists simple things that you can do to help kererū in your home, school or workplace.  It’s about reconnecting people to nature, enabling people to take action for kererū and creating a conservation community. By doing simple things as individuals, we can work together across the landscape to achieve our vision of seeing “large flocks of kererū in our skies” again.

 

Challenge yourselves and commit to at least three actions to help kererū today!

1: Plant kererū friendly

Kererū need food, shelter and nesting places in order to thrive. You are likely to attract native birds to your garden if you have native bush nearby and some favourite food trees for birds around the garden. All gardens, no matter how big or small, can be attractive to native birds.  If everyone plants a few food trees in their garden they will create a patchwork of suitable habitat within the urban landscape where kererū can live and feed.

What should I plant?

Plant a range of flowering and fruiting native trees and shrubs to provide nectar, seeds or berries all year round.  Suitable plants could include kowhai, flax, and fuchsia for nectar and wineberry, karamu and nikau for fruit. As a general rule, choose plants that naturally occur in your area.

Download our kererū friendly plant list for your garden.

2: Be a responsible cat owner

Being a responsible pet owner will make a huge difference.

What you can do:

  • Desex your cat.
  • Keep your cat indoors at night (including dawn and dusk).
  • Put a bell on your cat.
  • Feed your cat indoors.
  • Provide safe havens for native wildlife in your garden.

http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/files/file/responsiblecatownership.pdf
http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/home-and-garden/make-your-cat-conservation-friendly/

3: Help prevent window strike

We all love clean windows I know I sure do!  If your home has some larger windows, bi-folds or sliders you may want to take some things into consideration when attracting native birds into your yard.

Planting: If you are planting trees to attract kererū, avoid planting too close to the house as reflections on windows can confuse birds. A number of kererū are killed every year trying to fly through panes of glass.

Decals: You can also use window decals or stickers on your windows to let birds know there is a barrier.

Feeders: Bird feeders should be positioned close or as far from your windows as possible.  If your feeder is close to the window, birds fly away from the house rather than at it.

http://www.projectkereru.org.nz/preventing-window-strike

4: Do some pest control

By controlling predators (possums, rats and stoats) on your land by trapping or poisoning. By controlling animal pests, kererū populations can increase by 50 percent in two years.  This is particularly important over the breeding season when eggs and chicks are vulnerable.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/threats-and-impacts/animal-pests/

You can help the kererū’s natural habitat by removing pest weeds from your garden and allowing kererū friendly plants to grow in their place.  Removing weeds, particularly bad berries such as holly and cotoneaster, also helps the wider environment.  Kererū will feed on these exotic berries then can disperse the seeds up to 30km away!

http://weedbusters.co.nz/

5: Create a safe roost or nesting site.

Kererū eggs and nestlings are eaten by rats, possums, mustelids (stoats, weasels, ferrets), cats and magpies. This predation is the most common cause of nest failure. If you find an occupied nest and trapping/poisoning is not an option, you can “band” the tree and interconnecting trees to exclude predators.

Banding is a useful method for isolated trees and in built up areas and is relatively low maintenance. In areas with surrounding canopy trees, all must be banded or pruned to prevent predators from jumping between the trees. The banding technique involves a sheet of foil being secured around the trunk of the tree to prevent access to predators. The bands must be wide enough to prevent the predator from getting past it, tight enough to prevent the animals crawling underneath and must be flat without a lip to prevent the creation of a step. Rivets can be used to secure the bands as they cannot be used for footholds and can be adjusted to cater for growth in the young tree.

6: Provide a safe water source.

One of the best ways to attract any native bird is by adding a bird bath to your garden. Birds always need to drink and wash throughout the year. Make sure it is not accessible to cats and doesn’t have cover nearby where predators can lurk, but is easy to clean and refill.

If you hate cleaning your gutters out then the birds are in luck!, this can be a great source of water not to mention entertainment for you and your family as you watch Kereru and Tui spend time bathing and splashing about in the roof top pool.

When summer comes keeping a section off your guttering blocked then filling it with water from your garden hose is an easy way to insure the birds are safe from harm and you will find the birds will be very grateful.

7: Join a local conservation or community group

Environmental community groups play an active and important role in protecting the environment. Their activities include:

  • planting and restoration
  • pest animal control
  • weed control
  • public education
  • fundraising to enhance reserves

This voluntary action makes a huge contribution to biodiversity management.You can call your local Council to find out more about community groups near you, or visit the Nature Space page.

8: Help monitor kererū locally

Kererū are widely distributed through out New Zealand in a variety of different habitats. They operate at large scales and are a keystone species for the survival and regeneration of our forests.

You can help track the range and movements of kererū by submitting sightings or participating in local monitoring schemes.

NatureWatchNZ
The Great Kereru Count

By building a detailed picture of kererū distribution, we can effectively conserve and restore the habitat and precious resources they need.

http://eBird.org/  (New Zealand)
http://osnz.org.nz
http://www.sanctuary.org.nz

9: Make your voice heard

When it comes to conservation, the more voices we have, the more easily we will be heard. There are a variety of ways that you can make your voice heard.

Make a submission to your local or regional council.  Plans that directly or indirectly affect the kererū and its habitat are often discussed by Councils.  Council websites will have lists of ways the public can have input into plans and policies.

10: Share your Kererū Discovery

By spreading the word, more people can get involved in helping the kererū. The key to community conservation is getting a lot of people to do a little. So start talking and let’s help a lot of people to take action!

Like and share our the kererū discovery Facebook page. Post you photos and share your stories about kereru and what they mean to you.