Kererū count suggests rise in population

The native kererū’s population appears to have increased, a conservation organisation says.

WWF New Zealand organised a Great Kererū Count, asking people to register sightings of the pigeon.

The organisation wants a better picture of the state of the species, in particular about where they are typically found.

WWF New Zealand conservation projects head Michele Frank said more than 13,000 kererū had been counted – an increase of more than 1500 on last year.

She said the Great Kererū Count used an app that allowed people to register sightings easily, and participation was widespread.

“The fantastic thing is it puts the attention on this wonderful bird for 10 days.

“And people go out and notice it, and they’re looking for it.

“For some people they didn’t even know they had kererū in their backyard or in their local park, that’s really exciting for them.”

Michele Frank said Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland had the most sightings.