Tūī are important pollinators and seed dispersers within our ecosystem. Due to the effects of predation and a limited food source, few tūī were sighted within Hamilton City in the earlu 2000's.
The Hamilton Halo project is designed around a two-pronged approach to attract tūī back into Hamilton City.
Firstly, the project aims to increase tūī populations in the vicinity of the city by boosting breeding success at several key breeding sites within a 20 kilometre radius of Hamilton City, creating a halo of tūī. These sites can be accessed through a map on the Hamilton Halo web page.
Increasing predator control methods at these sites will allow greater fledgling rates to occur. Environment Waikato also works alongside Hamilton City Council and landowners to reduce the effects of predation on tūī.
Secondly, increasing the planting of key species within Hamilton City to produce food sources for tūī is another aim of the project. By planting a wide variety of species, tūī will have flowers and nectar to feed on throughout the year.
While the project is focused primarily on tūī, Environment Waikato hopes other native birds such as bellbirds and kererū will also be encouraged to inhabit the city.
See the Facebook page and Twitter account that have been set up for the general public to share their sightings of tūī within Hamilton City. This has helped increase public involvement and awareness in the project.
Recent results from Landcare have shown that not only are tūī numbers are now flourishing. Find out more in this news article.
Find out how Wellington residents are making city parks, reserves and gardens safe for native birds in this Radio New Zealand podcast.
This Waikato Times article from 2017 looks at how the halo is also bringing back other birds, such as bellbirds to Hamilton.