Date: 19 August 2016
New Zealand's North Island rainforests were once an important home for hihi – a colourful little bird found nowhere else on Earth.
Yet by the 1890s, the hihi had disappeared from the mainland and survived in just tiny numbers on one distant and small offshore island.
A century later it was on the very edge of extinction.
Happily, the hihi is now making a comeback thanks to the dedicated efforts of DOC staff and a range of partners, including the Zoological Society of London.
In 1995, with the help of volunteers, the Hihi Recovery Group relocated a small number of the birds to another island, Tiritiri Matangi.
This island had been cleared of non-native predators and replanted with native forest.
Since that first introduction, the hihi has been helped to breed and feed and been continuously monitored.
Today, Tiritiri Matangi has a stable population of about 200 hihi and the project has been so successful that hihi have been translocated from the island to help establish additional populations at three sites, and bolster a fourth. This means hihi are now found in six locations around the North Island – including the first hihi seen on mainland New Zealand in more than a century.
Learn more at Hihi Conservation, an online resource about the Hihi Recovery Group.