New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae)
New Zealand falcons are still found on the mainland, but habitat loss, human disturbance at nests and illegal persecution threatens this endemic species. Offspring of captive pairs are being released into suitable habitat to supplement the wild population. Hunting skills are established using traditional falconry techniques prior to release. A juvenile female was recently trained for 8 weeks and released in March 2002. She was trained and released in a horticultural area near Greytown where numerous flocks of passerines fed on seed crops. The release site is frequented by wild falcons outside of the breeding season, is close to habitat were falcons are know to breed, and is unlikely to be subject to illegal persecution of falcons preying on racing pigeons and poultry. A tail mounted radio transmitter was attached. Two days after release she was seen chasing and capturing an Australian Magpie and was still seen at the release sight 4 weeks after release. Contact Matthew Wong..