Image of the March 2012 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
March 2012 Issue
Home / Articles / Big picture

North and south

Simon de-mist netting a titipounamu

The rifleman is New Zealand’s smallest bird. Its Maori name, titipounamu, means little greenstone bird. In the far south on Rakiura/Stewart Island they were extinct with only a remnant population present on Codfish Island. In 2003, DOC sponsored a translocation project to reintroduce rifleman from Codfish to Ulva Island, and from there back to Rakiura.

Simon Fordham, pictured here on Ulva Island extracting a riflemen from a mist net, assisted last February in the translocation back to Rakiura. Fordham has a special connection with New Zealand’s predator free islands. Based in Auckland, he was the former chair of the Supporters for Tiritiri Matangi. In 2009 he was involved in the translocation of more rifleman, this time from Little Barrier Island to Tiritiri Matangi in the warm northern waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

Quietly, across New Zealand, there are people working to protect the environment and save what remains of New Zealand’s native species.

– Fraser Crichton