10 Jun 2010

Taiko Rediscovery

From Our Changing World, 9:34 pm on 10 June 2010

Views of Taiko Camp on Chatham Island, including a tall radio tracking tower

Taiko Camp is the base of the Taiko Trust's field work in the Tuku valley, and includes tall tracking towers (centre) to allow radio-transmittered birds that have been caught at 'the lights' to be tracked back to burrows in the forest (images: A. Ballance)

In the final story from the Chatham Islands, Alison Ballance catches up with the legendary David Crockett while he is making what he thinks is his 86th visit to the island. In the previous two stories in the Chatham Island series we've heard about efforts to save taiko. Sometimes known as magenta petrels, taiko rank with takahe and kakapo as great tales of ornithological mystery and momentous rediscovery. David Crockett's name is inextricably linked with taiko and the work of the Chatham Island Taiko Trust, and he tells the tale of luck, patience and hard work that led him to become involved in what has become a lifelong-passion for one of the world's rarest seabirds (pdf).