Robins return to Abel Tasman Coast

Posted 2 May 2016 by Lucy

Abel Tasman Bridsong Trust

Robins return to Abel Tasman Coast

After a 30 year absence from the mainland coastal track, 34 Toutouwai (South Island Robin) were returned to Pitt Head by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust.

The Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust (ATBT) translocated the birds from Motuareronui (Adele Island) to Te Puketea Bay near Anchorage.  Robin were re-introduced to Motuareronui Island by the ATBT in 2009 and have flourished in the predator free environment.

The ATBT Chairman Kim McGlashen says robin are found in the upper regions of the Park and were once common around Anchorage and Torrent Bay but predation has meant they have not been seen around the coast for about 30 years.

“The ATBT have been working towards bringing robin back to the mainland coast for nearly four years.  It will be wonderful to see them getting a foothold around the coast so visitors can enjoy seeing the friendly birds up close,” he says.

ATBT member Allan Barker and his team set up a network of around 200 Goodnature A24 resetting rat traps over 130ha from Pitt Head to Watering Cove in 2012. The trapping network was funded by environmental trust Project Janszoon and is maintained and managed by the ATBT.

“It has taken a couple of years to get the traps working well but we are now confident our trapping network has reduced rat numbers to a level where robin will have every chance to thrive on the mainland,” says Allan Barker.

Hana Park from Te Atiawa was part of the team catching the birds on Motuareronui Adele Island for transfer to the mainland and did a moving karanga to welcome the toutouwai to their new home.

In time the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust hope to extend the rat trapping network through to Falls River so robin / toutouwai will thrive in a much larger area of the Park’s coastline.

Click here to read the article by Samantha Gee and watch the video.


  • Robin in the Hand crop
  • Peter Gaze
  • Group