By Stan Stewart
After fifteen years of caring for damaged, disoriented and lost birds as the leader of the Kuaotunu Bird Rescue Trust, Annemeike Kregting, is retiring.
The friends she has made in her community who have helped her care for birds are still there. The national fellowship of other likeminded people, volunteers and professionals across New Zealand will not forget her; nor will she forget them. Her knowledge will still be needed. Annemeike will still be available on occasions to teach about bird rescue.
Annemeike’s selfless service in the care of the environment and the birds have inspired many people. The community wishes her well in the future.
Special comment from Department of Conservation
- Amy Blair
Kuaotunu Bird Rescue.
Staff in the Department of Conservation’s Coromandel team have paid tribute to Annemieke Kregting as she calls time on her years of efforts leading Kuaotunu Bird Rescue.
“The local DOC team completely understand and support Annemieke’s decision to retire,” says Amy Blair, DOC Coromandel District Supervisor.
“We cannot thank Annemieke enough for her compassion, professionalism and commitment to the care and rehabilitation of our local birds in need, extending over 16 years,” says Amy. "It’s a good time to remind the community of what to do if they come across a sick or injured bird. In the first instance, call the DOC Hotline (0800 362 468)," says Amy.
“With limited resources and expertise, we must triage each call and can only respond to our most threatened species such as kiwi, dotterel, bittern and kaka,” Amy says. For other species like tui, kingfishers, shags and non-natives, DOC can offer advice and give recommendations based on the nature of the injury, and these birds can also be taken to the nearest vet clinic if necessary.
“As much as we’d like to save every bird, we don’t have the facilities, resources or expertise to respond to each call,” says Amy. “It’s important to remember a lot of our native species are doing well and while it is sad to lose one or two individuals, it won’t negatively affect their wild population.
We really appreciate the care and concern we receive from the public; in some cases the best thing to do is to leave nature do its thing,” says Amy.
Caption: Annemeike is working with DOC field workers.
WHAT TO DO:
Here are some simple steps to remember if you come across a sick or injured bird.
•If it’s safe to do so, carefully remove the
bird from immediate danger. Birds such
as little blue penguins can be placed in the
sand dunes away from dogs and people.
•Call the DOC Hotline (0800 362 468) for
•DO NOT give the bird water or food.
•DO NOT try to care for the bird yourself.
This can prolong suffering and is illegal
under the Wildlife Act.
•If you can’t catch the bird, it probably
doesn’t need help.
Amy says anyone considering setting up a care and rehabilitation facility must follow a specific process and obtain relevant wildlife handling permits, so they will need to talk to DOC first.
Amy is DOC Supervisor
- Coromandel District.