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The Takitumu Conservation Area, also referred to as TCA is located in the hinterland of Turoa and Akapuao localities, Titikaveka. Some 30 years ago, the rediscovery of the Kakerori bird (Rarotongan Flycatcher - Pomarea dimidiata) led to the eventual establishment of a conservation area to protect this small, highly territorial, endemic forest bird.
Since the mid '90s, a recovery plan has been adopted to increase the population of the critically endangered avian population (now listed as 'endangered' on the IUCN Red List). A primary objective for the intensive conservation plan was to reduce the presence of ship rats, and offer a blanket protection for the 155 hectare site from unsuitable development, and potentially harm-bearing policies e.g. introduction of exotic bird species to the island.
The Takitumu Conservation Area is managed by land-owners, as a community-based initiative, with support from the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program. The success of the pest control and bird recovery project has further led to the translocation of Kakerori from Rarotonga to Atiu island within the Southern group (of the Cook Islands). Atiu island has to date been absent of ship rats, so it is hoped that successful breeding will develop on that smaller island as a further conservation measure.
The TCA is open to the public for bird-watching and hiking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Specialist interest excursions can also be arranged with prior approval. Advance bookings are necessary for casual visitors. Contact the TCA manager, Ian Wilmott-Karika, at email@example.com