Ian Karika took Kevin Iro’s youth groups Rakei Toa and Cook Islands Sports Academy on a tour of Takitumu Conservation Area (TCA) operations.
The objective was to give the groups a taste of what conservation work is like.
Speaking of the young people on the tour, Karika says that often kids don’t really show a lot of interest, but there might be one or two who may look at conservation as a career option in future.
“It might plant a seed in their minds,” he says.
The TCA consists of three valleys making up 155 ha and is home to many plants and animals including one of the Cook Islands endangered birds, the Kakerori (Rarotonga Flycatcher). This bird was on the brink of extinction in 1989 with a population of only 29. Work to control the ship rat which attacks Kakerori nests has enabled the population to increase to over 300 in 2010. The TCA is now receiving financial assistance from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) until 2012. It is hoped that a Trust Fund could be established to continue its work thereafter.