2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s Takahē Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

The Tiritiri Concert

Date posted: 11-Feb-2020

Folk on the Water The 2020 Tiritiri Matangi Conce..

2020 Photo competition now open

Date posted: 15-Jan-2020

This year's photo competition is now open for entries. Please click here (/m..

Wetapunga


Wētāpunga are New Zealand's largest insect. Adult females, which are larger than the males, can have a body length of 10cm and a weight of 35g or more. They used to live in forests throughout Northland, the Auckland region and Hauraki Gulf islands, but due to habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals such as rats and stoats, they disappeared from everywhere except Hauturu/Little Barrier Island. 

The population on Hauturu increased significantly after kiore were removed from there in 2004, but because it is risky to have the whole population of a species living in one place, a decision was made to introduce wētāpunga to other Hauraki Gulf islands. A captive breeding programme at Butterfly Creek in Auckland was set up in 2008 and, in 2010, the first individuals were released on Motuora Island. 

As they grow, young wētāpunga go through a series of stages, called 'instars'. Motuora was able to receive animals at an earlier instar than Tiritiri Matangi because it does not have so many insect-eating predators, such as saddlebacks, tuatara and takahē, that would prey on immature wētāpunga. 

The release of 25 adult wētāpunga on Tiritiri Matangi in December 2011 attracted much public attention, and was an important step in the restoration of the Island's biodiversity.

Because wētāpunga have such a long life-cycle - it can take nearly three years from egg-laying to maturity - it will be many years before they become widespread on Tiri, but it is hoped that, in years to come, overnight visitors will see and appreciate these spectacular insects.


Photos:

Above right: wētāpunga on Tiritiri Matangi by Helen Bucksey.

Left: Dr Chris Green releasing wētāpunga on Tiritiri Matangi in December 2011 by Simon Fordham  ©.