PA2012_007.jpg Kōkako (Tamanui). Collection of Puke Ariki (PA2012.007).

The call of the kōkako was once common in Taranaki, yet when Tamanui was caught in 1999 in the Moki Forest near Whangamomona, he was the last known pure-bred Taranaki kōkako.

Tamanui was taken to the kōkako breeding programme at Mount Bruce in Wairarapa. By the time of his death in 2008 he had four children. They were released on Tiritiri Matangi, a predator-safe island near Auckland, and from there the numbers of Tamanui’s descendants began to grow.

In 2017, with the help of Ngāti Tama, the Department of Conservation and the Tiaki Te Mauri O Parininihi Trust, 20 of Tamanui’s descendants were released in Paraninihi Forest in north Taranaki. Once more the kōkako call cries out over Taranaki.

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