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Takitumu Conservation Area showing signs of recovery

Saturday 26 March 2022 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Environment, National


Takitumu Conservation Area showing signs of recovery
A Kakerori, or Rarotongan flycatcher, an attractive tiny bird unique to Rarotonga, pictured recently at the Takitumu Conservation Area. Picture courtesy of SIVA GOUNDER/22032520

Work on the Takitumu Conservation Area, which was damaged during the January storms, is well underway according to its volunteers.

Lead volunteer Ian Karika said they have been working every Friday and Saturday since the storms on clearing out debris and replanting trees.

“We’re starting to see a lot of birdlife return,” Karika said.

“We’re halfway through clearing out of things, and we’ve allowed some people to join us watching the birds.”

Karika said the volunteers hoped the conservation area would be reopen to the public in a couple of weeks.

“It’s going well so far.”

The Takitumu Conservation Area is located on the south-eastern side of inland Rarotonga and covers 155 hectares of upland forest, scrub and fernland.

In early February, volunteers discovered the damage and estimated it would take at least six months to clear up.

Karika, who is also the Area conservation manager, then said an estimated 50 trees have been toppled by winds – many of them giant trees.

After surveying the damage, he said it appeared worse than the carnage witnessed when the 2005 cyclone hit the conservation area.