More giant wētā have been released to three islands in Ipipiri / the Bay of Islands!

Just last week our Zoo ectotherm keepers – Don, Ben, Nic and Rebecca, released 160+ Zoo-bred wētāpunga to Urupukapuka, Moturua and Motuarohia islands, thanks to a joint conservation partnership with Project Island Song and mana whenua.

There are over 100 endemic species of wētā in New Zealand - which means these beautifully unique insects are found nowhere else in the world! Wētāpunga are the largest of New Zealand’s 11 giant wētā and over the years their range was reduced to just one Island - Hauturu-o-Toi / Little Barrier.

With support from Ngati Manuhiri and the Department of Conservation, our specialist ectotherm team have been able to breed and release more than 6,000 of this taonga species onto eight separate predator-free islands.

This mahi is made possible thanks to Project Island Song and Bay of Islands hapū Patukeha and Ngāti Kuta, and the mana whenua of Te Hauturu-o-Toi - Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngātiwai, and Ngāti Rehua.You can read more in this article from NZ Herald