Short - Better Ancestors

Better Ancestors: the call of the kōkako

Parininihi consists of 2,000 hectares of coastal and inland forest in Taranaki and Conrad O’Carroll has committed his life’s work to caring for it and its resident kōkako population by managing introduced predators and teaching the next generation of kaitiaki / guardians. Ngāti Tama are tangata whenua and kaitiaki of Parininihi and these lands hold great cultural, historic and spiritual significance to Ngāti Tama, who strive to maintain the health of Parininihi. Kōkako (Callaeas wilsoni) are of the genus Callaeidae, Wattle Birds, and very distant relatives of the crow. They were previously widespread in Aotearoa. However, populations have been decimated by the predations of mammals such as possums, stoats, cats and rats, and their range has contracted significantly. With their extraordinary haunting song, and obscure evolutionary relationships to other birds, they evoke the forests of ancient Aotearoa. And Conrad - and people like him - are trying to rescue taonga species, including kōkako, from the precipice of extinction. @betterancestorsnz


Subscribe for $1  | 


Keep reading for just $1

Unlimited access to every NZGeo story ever written and hundreds of hours of natural history documentaries on all your devices.

$1 trial for two weeks, thereafter $8.50 every two months, cancel any time

Already a subscriber?

Signed in as . Sign out

Thanks, you're good to go!

Thanks, you're good to go!

{{ contentNotIncluded('company') }} has not subscribed to {{ contentNotIncluded('contentType') }}.

Ask your librarian to subscribe to this service next year. Alternatively, use a home network and buy a digital subscription—just $1/week...

Go back


Subscribe to our free newsletter for news and prizes