George Mateariki is our birdman. He is employed by the Takitumu Conservation Area to look after the 30 Rarotongan Flycatchers (Kakerori) transferred to Atiu in the years 2001 to 2003, as part of the recovery programme for an endangered bird that was reduced to 29 birds on Rarotonga in 1992.
The ship rat attacks the bird on Rarotonga. There are no ship rats on Atiu and George is employed part time to trap rats at the island entry points and monitor the Kakerori. Also because Atiu has no ship rat 27 of the endangered Rimatara lorikeet were reintroduced to Atiu in 2007.
They too are breeding successfully. Birdman George offers to show you these birds and all the other birds of Atiu in a tour that lasts 3 hours at $50 NZ. George also does a splendid tour of the island incorporating ancient trails, the different types of plants and their uses, the beaches, a picnic and the birds. This tour lasts between 4 to 5 hours and includes a picnic from the land and as a special on Sunday his "Reastaurant on the Beach" with local food from his family's earth oven. Price $50. Ph 33 623