New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Not Threatened

Population: Can be locally abundant where there is good pest control and flowering/fruiting habitat.

Found in: North, South and Stewart Islands, and their offshore islands

Threats: Predation, habitat loss

Tūī conservation

Tūī can be found throughout the three main islands of New Zealand. They are scarce only in drier, largely open, country east of the Southern Alps. They live in native forests, bush reserves, and bush remnants.

The Chatham Islands tui is a threatened subspecies of tūī.
These attractive birds can often be heard singing their beautiful melodies before they are spotted. You will recognize them by their distinctive white tuft under their throat.
They are important pollinators of many native trees and will fly large distances, especially during winter for their favorite foods. They feed mainly on nectar from flowers of native plants such as kōwhai, puriri, rewarewa, kahikatea, pohutukawa, rātā and flax. Occasionally they will eat insects too.

           Tui sound

Predator control

Protective of their living space, tūī have been known to defend themselves against magpies and even 'mob' harriers. The tūī has suffered in the past with the introduction of predators such as possums, feral cats, rats, stoats, and ferrets, and the destruction of habitat.

A good sign of a successful restoration programme in areas of New Zealand, is the sound of the tūī warbling in surrounding shrubs.
Effective predator control in various regions around New Zealand has resulted in a dramatic increase in tūī numbers. For example, it's reported that in Wellington there has been an eight-fold increase in tūī numbers since the council began pest control in parks and reserves across the wider city region.

With thanks to the Department Of Conservation as the source for this information and images


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