Rotorua Canopy Tours and Wingspan release ruru in the wild

October 2017 – Rotorua Canopy Tours and Wingspan joined forces to release a rehabilitated ruru into the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.

Releasing a protected, native bird back into its natural habitat is such a special occasion. The team at Rotorua Canopy Tours were ecstatic to have a ruru release in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve, home of the Canopy Tour. Ruru (morepork) are the only living native owl in New Zealand, known for their distinctive “Morepork” call.Wingspan and canopy tours release ruru-min

Photo: The team at Rotorua Canopy Tours were ecstatic to have a ruru release in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.

Locals found the ruru in the Mamaku area, not far from the forest. When rescued the ruru was in a concussed and underweight state. Locals took the bird to the Wingspan National Birds of Prey Centre for rehabilitation.

Due to its health the ruru spent a month at Wingspan. During its time there, the lucky ruru became healthier and had gained weight. The ruru was well on its way to recovery and was need of a new home. That’s when the Wingspan team touched base with Canopy Tours.

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Photo: The ruru spent a month at Wingspan recovering before its release.

Rotorua Canopy tours have been undertaking a huge trapping programme in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve since 2013. With 220 hectares of the reserve now under trapping control the predator levels are sitting below 5%. Wingspan and Canopy Tours believe that they could not have found a safer haven.

Debbie Stewart, Director of Wingspan, said her team were thrilled with the fabulous example of combined community effort to help this bird return to full health and be re-homed locally. “I’m confident that the ruru has been returned back to territory that is supported by pest control, and have faith that the Canopy Tours conservation efforts have created a secure environment.” she said.

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Photo: Wingspan and Canopy Tours teams join for ruru release.

“It was an incredible privilege to be part of the release. We are very lucky to work with an organisation like Wingspan” said Paul Button, General Manager of Rotorua Canopy Tours.
“One family was lucky enough to join us for the release at the end of their tour. It would be great to share moments like that with more of our guests in the future.”

Rotorua Canopy Tours will continue the extensive conservation work in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. The team will keep an eye and an ear out for the newest resident of the forest.

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