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The 940 hectares of the Pukaha Mount Bruce reserve is the last remnant of Wairarapa's once-famous 70 Mile Bush which cloaked the countryside from Masterton north to Norsewood. But as one of its goals, Pukaha Mount Bruce wants to regenerate the forest and birdlife to something like the state it was in the 19 century.

Pukaha month old Kiwi s weight and general condition very good small

Checking 8 month old Kiwi's weight and general condition

The 2000 football field area of Pukaha Mt Bruce reserve is too large and rugged to be fenced off from surrounding farm land. Without intensive trapping programmes, the ever invading stoats, weasels, and rats would pose a constant threat to bird life, and possums, if unchecked, would ravage the bush.

Pukaha Kahurangi the wolf whistling Kokako small

Kahurangi the wolf-whistling Kokako

The good news is that Doc staff, along with volunteers and regional and local councils, are winning the war against pests and captive breeding and subsequent re-introduction of species are transforming the reserve.

Pukaha Doc double stoat trap Egg is visual bait and rabbit mince above provides scent small

 Doc 200 double stoat trap. Egg is visual bait and rabbit mince provides scent. Local farmers supply eggs for 600 traps

Spectrum’s Jack Perkins looks at the work of Pukaha Mt Bruce rangers. On the way, he meets a wolf-whistling Kokako and checks out a healthy young Kiwi.