ZEALANDIA Bringing Rifleman to Wellington
Wellington, NZ –– Zealandia Ecosanctuary in Wellinton has announced plans to bring New Zealand's smallest bird to the capital city. The
project will see around 80 rifleman / titiponamu transferred into the predator-free sanctuary in March 2017, with
another 80 transferred into nearby Otari-Wilton's Bush the following year.
Zealandia have a track record of native species relocations, having introduced 18 species of wildlife into the sanctuary
valley so far. This will be their first new bird species in over five years and just the sixth time a rifleman
population has been translocated in New Zealand.
"We are incredibly excited to welcome this taonga to Wellington city," said Zealandia's Conservation Manager Dr.
"The titipounamu is an endearing little bird and an important part of our ecosystem. Their call will help complete the
cacophony of bird song we already hear in the sanctuary valley."
Zealandia will be working closely with Wellington City Council, volunteers, community partners, and local iwi to ensure
the ongoing success of the translocation.
"This is a project that all Wellingtonians should be immensely proud of," says Dr. Shanahan
"This is only possible because of the incredible efforts by the community and Wellington City Council to make our
suburbs safe again for native wildlife"
Zealandia is currently seeking donations to assist with this project through their website.
• New Zealand's smallest native bird species
• Conservation Status: Declining
• Belongs to ancient endemic family, Acanthisittidae (New Zealand wrens).
• One of just two surviving species in its family
• Named for its green plumage reminiscent of colonial troops (English) and after ponamu/greenstone (Te Reo)
• Appeared on New Zealand's $2 notes until 1991