In Auckland we make a lot of our traffic problems – but what about the birds, bats and native lizards that need to get around?
The North-West Wildlink is a vision for a living urban corridor connecting two of Auckland’s most important wildlife havens – Tiritiri Matangi Island Open Sanctuary and the Waitakere Ranges. The project started in 2006 as a partnership between Auckland Council, the Department of Conservation and Forest and Bird. Since then dozens of community organisations and neighbourhoods around Auckland have been hard at work regenerating native bush along this flight path.
Wildlife corridors bridge areas of land where human activity (buildings, roads, industry) has cleared natural bush habitats. Corridors connecting core reserves are crucial for increasing biodiversity because they dramatically increase the amount of safe habitat available for some of our endangered species – giving access to a wider range of food sources and larger populations to decrease inbreeding.
One of the threatened species that is being fostered at Tititiri Matangi and Ark in the Park in the Waitakere Ranges is the North Island Kokako. These birds have become iconic since the birth of Kokako Coffee in 2001 (NZ’s first organic coffee roasting business). Kokako Coffee actively promote and support Tiritiri Matangi and Ark in the Park as part of their business of bringing the kokako back into abundance in Auckland.
Kokako are amazing singers, but not amazing flyers. Their wings aren’t very long so they can only fly down, not up. So to get around they need some pretty tall trees close together that they can climb and glide between them. That’s exactly what the wildlink is set up to do.
One of the magic things about Auckland is that even in the middle of the city you’re never too far away from a shady refuge with the sound of birdsong. It’s an amazing part of our lifestyle and the North-West Wildlink is set to increase that. More trees and more birds throughout Auckland – not just in our regional parks and sanctuaries.
You can find more information about the North-West Wildlink from :
Forest and Bird – project overview
Nature Watch – records sightings of native species along the wildlink
Auckland Council – advice for contributing to the wildlink project