17 Sep 2008

The Cook Islands fight to save several birds on endangered species list

4:13 pm on 17 September 2008

Conservationists in the Cook Islands say a new report highlighting the threat to the survival of birds in the Pacific shows there is a real need to keep a thorough watch on threatened species.

A list released last week by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, reveals one quarter of all the world's threatened birds are from the Pacific.

The Director of the Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Gerald McCormack says his country has several birds on the list.

"For example the Mangaia Kingfisher is listed there as a vulnerable species and we've been working on that in the last two years because we thought that what was happening was mynah birds funnily enough were attacking it, not ship rat. So we've done two seasons of work there, and what we've discovered is that mynahs are causing about a quarter of the nests to fail."

Gerald McCormack says the trust is also devoting time to the survival of the Rimatara Lorikeet.