© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Reward for sighting of South Island Kokako

Emme McKay
Kokako
Kokako bird Wikimedia Commons

Get your binoculars out - the reward for finding a Kokako bird in the South Island has doubled.

Although the South Island Kokako has been assumed extinct, it is not stopping people from searching for it. 

The South Island Kokako Charitable Trust upped their reward to finding the bird to $10,000. 

The Morgan Foundation lent their support by matching the initial $5,000 reward offered in January, as proof the Kokako is still alive.

 The bird has had numerous sightings over the past couple of years, prompting experts to think that some live in rural areas of the South Island. 

The Trust hoped the bigger reward would encourage more people to join the search and to keep an eye and ear out for their unique sound and appearance. 

The Morgan Foundation trustee Jessi Morgan said she was excited to contribute to the search. 

“We’re passionate about the conservation of New Zealand’s native species and we would love to hear that the wonderful South Island Kokako has been found and efforts can begin to bring it back from the brink of extinction."

There had been reported sightings of the bird  from mainly Stewart Island, Fiordland and South Westland. 

The South Island Kokako is a light blue or grey bird with bright coloured orange or yellow wattles under their beak. 

The North Island Kokako is not extinct - but is still endangered. 

The $10,000 reward would be paid after a panel of New Zealand's best bird experts agreed there was strong enough evidence the Kokako exists.

The Trust asked people to log in possible encounters on their website. 

 Below is the unique Kokako call to listen out for in the South Island bush.