A further 35 half grown wetapunga were released on Motuora Island on Sunday 2nd December. Wetapunga were first released on Motuora in September 2010, this second translocation will help boost the population.
Wetapunga are New Zealand’s largest insect and are now only naturally found on Little Barrier Island. The wetapunga released on Motuora Island were bred in captivity at Butterfly Creek.
A small group of MRS committee members along with Chris Green from DOC and Paul Barrett from Butterfly Creek all braved the windy conditions to attend the release. The wetapunga were released into individual artificial refuges made of bamboo. It was great to get an up close view of these rare and secretive insects.
This second transfer along with planned future transfers are important to improve genetic diversity and eventually build a self sustaining population of wetapunga on Motuora Island.
A big thanks to Paul for raising the wetapunga and assisting with the release and also to Chris for organising the translocation.