We have been operating an extensive Mainland Island predator control program for the past 12 years in addition to widespread habitat planting. The bird life on the property speaks for itself, the dawn chorus is amazing!
4 years ago we started developing a facility for Wildlife Recovery programs and forming a relationship with the department of Conservation. Over this time we have set up programs working with injured wildlife, Kakariki, Weka, and the Marlborough Green Gecko as well as providing nesting boxes for the Blue Penguin and the Tree Weta.
The mission: We are breeding the Yellow and Red Crowned Kakariki for educational purposes and release into Predator free areas. We want to help ensure we have these beautiful species for future generations to enjoy.
Habitat: The Kakariki is a Parakeet (long tailed parrot). They can reach up to 25cm in length. Kakariki have suffered heavily since human settlement, mainly due to the loss of habitat but also due to predation of Stoats and ship rats.
Breeding: Breeding normally occurs in spring, however it is heavily influenced by the years food supply. The female will incubate the eggs, but both parents will feed the chicks.
Food: Beech seed is an important part of the birds diet, but they also eat a variety of flower buds, fruit and small insects. Most of the food is gathered up in the trees, however it is known to forage on the ground, which makes it prone to introduced predators.
The mission: In partnership with D.O.C. we are breeding the Marlborough Green Gecko for release onto predator free islands in the Marlborough Sounds. We have a variety of other species on display for educational purposes. We hope we can help ensure these species exist for future generations to enjoy.
Habitat: New Zealand has about 17 discovered species of gecko, living in mountains, forests and even on beaches.
Food: Geckos eat a variety of insects such as moths and beetles, supplemented by nectar, small berries and other fruit.
Breeding: New Zealand Geckos are the only geckos in the world to give birth to live young. They give birth in the early autumn (often twins), and as soon as a baby is born it is released by its parent to fend for itself.
The Mission: The Weka is a large flightless bird with brown and black plumage, a stout bill, reduced wings and strong legs. The Weka numbers in Lochmara Bay have been decreasing steadily for a number of years due to predation from dogs. Our aim is to increase those numbers so the call of these amazing birds can be heard once again.
Habitat: The Weka inhabits a wide range of habitats: open country with scrub, forest margins, sand dunes and rocky shores.
Breeding: Nests are substantial bowls of vegetation, which are well hidden and lined with hair or feathers.
Food: Most active at dusk, they are primarily scavengers. They turn over leaf litter with their beaks to find insects, fallen berries, seeds, lizards, and small rodents. Wekas are famous as bold thieves around human settlements.
Inspiring admiration and fear rather than affection, Weta are never the less one of New Zealand's most fascinating and significant animals. Primarily vegetarian and nocturnal, Weta belong to the same order as crickets and grasshoppers. In the absence of efficient predators such as rats and cats, Weta evolved to become large and flightless, occupying roles that elsewhere in the world had been claimed by rodents. Weta have evolved into about 100 species, divided into 5 groups. Giant, tree, ground, tusked and cave. Most can be found throughout the country. At Lochmara you can find tree, cave and ground Weta, but you must look hard and in the right places. We provide nesting boxes for the tree Weta, the mighty Putangatanga.
Blue penguins are found throughout the cool temperate coastal waters of New Zealand and southern Australia. They are also the smallest penguins in the world. Their numbers have been greatly reduced due to predators like cats, stoats, and dogs. However conservation work such as education and providing these nesting boxes has had some great success.
Here at Lochmara we provide nesting boxes for Blue penguins. The hope is that these boxes will aid successful breeding, which will in turn enhance the wild population. Part of this program involves educating people about the wonderful bird life we have in New Zealand, and how we can make sure we still have these amazing birds for the next generation to enjoy.