The American Lory Society is supporting the  San Diego Zoo in the relocation of a small population of Kuhl's Lorikeets. 

Queen Rongomatane Ariki , Alan Lieberman and one of the 27 translocated birds

Photo courtesy of Alan Lieberman & the Zoological Society of San Diego




The Zoological Society of San Diego (ZSSD) has teamed up with   the Cook Islands Government, the Ornithological Society of Polynesia (MANU), the community of Rimatara, the Aronga Mana of ĎĀtiu and BirdLife International to undertake a reintroduction program for the Kuhlís Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii). 

The project involved translocating twenty-seven of the approximately 900 Kuhlís Lorikeets from Rimatara to ĎĀtiu, in the Cook Islands, to establish a back up population. Of all the types of rats, the Ship Rat presents the biggest problem to fragile bird populations in French Polynesia and it is believed they will eventually invade Rimatara. When that happens, the population of Kuhlís Lorikeets will be in jeopardy.  The island of ĎĀtiu was determined to be free of Ship Rats, making it a suitable habitat for an introduced population. 

In 2006, the team applied for CITES permits and import permits as well as raising funds for the project. The San Diego Zoo estimated portion will be $18,000. In 2007, a team from the San Diego Zoo, along with personnel from Tahiti and Cook Islands, captured the lorikeets. The Cook Islands Task Force made all quarantine and shipping arrangements.  Because there is the risk of introducing disease with the transferred birds, a disease management strategy was implemented before and during the transfer.

In 2008, a team returned to
ĎĀtiu to count the population and determine breeding success. The local people have already reported that the birds appear to be doing well!

Please consider sending a contribution to this worthwhile cause and have the satisfaction of knowing you have helped save this endangered lory. The ZSSD is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible and 100% of your contribution will go towards this project. Please make checks payable to ZSSD/CRES, put "Rimatara Project" in the memo and mail to:

 American Lory Society Rimatara Project
PO Box 490302
Lawrenceville, GA 30049

For additional information, contact Margrethe Warden