The HRG has four fundamental objectives, each with a small number of criteria against which they can be measured. Being explicit about how the HRG objectives will be measured naturally allows for management alternatives to be assessed for their likely affect (consequence) on each objective. It therefore allows the HRG (or managers) to better choose between alternatives. Once a chosen management option is undertaken the HRG (or managers) can then assess its success against these agreed measures. This allows clearÂ feedback on how management is, or is not, achieving what is considered important.
Increase the total number of hihi nationwide
We aim to increase the number of hihi populations across Aotearoa New Zealand and the total number of hihi in them.
Increase the natural ecological setting of the hihi
Nest boxes and sugar water are provided to help hihi survive and reproduce, but we want more natural sites without the need for these.
Reduce the cost of managing hihi populations
Managing hihi bears many financial costs which we want to minimise. Two major expenses are the provision of nest boxes and sugar water.
Increase awareness and appreciation of hihi
We wish to raise awareness and appreciation of hihi by local residents and visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand. This charismatic and striking bird is little known or understood, which is something we are working to change.
Reintroductions and intensive management of hihi has been the strategy adopted for hihi recovery but in order to increase the scale and ambition of the programme we need to learn from these approaches. Experimenting with endangered species is risky, for example, we may remove supplemental food from a population that is thriving, if it keeps growing, we have learned something about dietary needs and can adapt our management at other sites. However, if the population declines as a result of removing food, was it worth it?
We have developed a computer program to simulate what may happen if we remove food, among other things. This helps to plan the next long-term hihi recovery strategy. Different options for hihi recovery have been defined balancing learning, translocations and feeding regimes.Â This allows us to test risky options on a computer without compromising real life hihi. Using this set of simulations we have decided on a strategy that best balances achieving our above objectives including that careful balance between having as many hihi as possible but also in as natural an ecological setting as possible. This decision step is currently under external review so watch this space to learn more about how it was done.
Our selected strategy includes the following general decision rules;