NI Robin Translocation
The North Island robin (toutouwai) is a bold, curious and trusting bird, often coming to within a couple of metres of people and has even been known to perch on a person’s boot!
Adult robins stand upright at about 18cm tall and range from pale to dark grey. The males, especially bachelors, are songbirds and produce a beautifully clear tune that resonates throughout the forest. The North Island robin is a territorial species, with males in particular inhabiting the same patch of forest – of one to five hectares – throughout their lives.
This species is only found in the North Island of New Zealand and has a status of ‘totally protected’. They were once widespread, but due to predation population numbers dwindled. As ground feeders, eating worms, larvae and insects, they are especially vulnerable to predators such as rats, possums, mustelids (stoats, weasels and ferrets), cats and hedgehogs.
The success of the pest control programme in the Ōhope Scenic Reserve along with a small remnant population of robins meant that it was an ideal location to establish a robust robin population.