Can we introduce more weka from another area?
Sometimes people ask us why we do not bring weka from somewhere else to boost the numbers here in the Bay. Unfortunately this would be almost impossible.
Weka are native animals and therefore protected. To shift any native animal from one place to another requires a permit from the Department of Conservation.
Before a translocation permit could be issued we would need to prove that Kawakawa Bay is a safe habitat for weka. The reason the weka numbers are so low is proof in itself that this is not a safe environment. If it were a good habitat for them their numbers would not have dropped by 90% over 4 or 5 years!
Until the whole of Kawakawa Bay is on side with the weka a translocation is impossible.
Should we ever get permission for a translocation, the introduced weka would need to be held in a pre-release aviary for several weeks. This in itself requires a huge commitment in time, money and effort.
Weka have a strong homing instinct and if not caged in the new location at the beginning they would just walk home.
One weka released in the Waitakeres in 1980 walked from there to Taneatua in the Bay of Plenty in just 3 weeks! It had crossed Auckland and therefore SH1 to do this. Remember weka do not fly so it had walked about 300 km!