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					Saving our kiwi
A stocktake of kiwi conservation in New Zealand:
progress with kiwi, who's doing the work, and what
the future holds for our national icon




DECEMBER 2006




                                                     1
 Front cover: Rowi chick, Motuara
     Island, Marlborough Sounds,
              Operation Nest Egg.
                   Photo: Ian Gill
Inside front cover and back cover:
North Island brown kiwi feathers.
         Photo: Rogan Colbourne




2
                                     F O R E WO R D F RO M T H E M I N I S T E R O F C O N S E RVAT I O N
                                     My first sight of a kiwi was as a small boy peering through glass in the kiwi house at
                                     Auckland Zoo. They were larger than I first thought, with a furry plumage, poking
                                     their long beaks into the leaf litter for grubs, oblivious to me staring through the glass.
                                     What they lacked in wings they made up for with powerful legs and feet.
                                     But, strong though they look, the kiwi is in trouble. They are attacked by roaming
                                     dogs, ferrets and feral cats; they get run over by cars; and the juveniles are vulnerable
                                     to stoats. Where they are not managed for conservation, their numbers are in decline.
                                     Once there were millions of kiwi, now there are around 78,000, most of them in
                                     remote areas of New Zealand.
                      Chris Carter
         Minister of Conservation
                                     Kiwi live only in our country; there is nothing like them elsewhere in the world.Their
                                     closest relatives – the ostrich of southern Africa, the Australian emu and cassowary, the
                                     South American rhea – are more like the extinct moa than kiwi. It is the distinctiveness
                                     of the kiwi, its unusual shape, that has made a national icon of this instantly recognisable
                                     bird. All the more reason to protect the kiwi from extinction.
                                     Fortunately for the kiwi, conservation is a growth industry in New Zealand. The
                                                                  Department of Conservation’s multi-million dollar
                                                                  kiwi specific schemes are matched by more than 60
                                                                  community-led projects, aimed mainly at controlling
                                                                  stoats and raising kiwi in captivity for later release into
                                                                  the wild. Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust has
                                                                  played a huge role in funding kiwi conservation, in
                                                                  particular, the captive hatching and rearing programme
                                                                  known as Operation Nest Egg.
                                                                     This brochure celebrates the good work being done
                                                                     around the country, to inspire confidence in the future
                                                                     for the kiwi, as well as describe the threats that kiwi
                                                                     in the wild face. There is no room to be complacent
                                                                     and all of us can play a part in improving the long-term
                                                                     survival chances.
Great spotted kiwi/roroa, National   In Northland, for instance, the effectiveness of stoat control is being undone by
Wildlife Centre, Pukaha Mt Bruce.
               Photo: Rod Morris
                                     roaming dogs, a very difficult problem to fix and dog owners need to become part of
                                     the solution. In some parts of New Zealand, pig hunters have put their dogs through
                                     avian aversion schemes and this example of a positive attitude is to be encouraged.
                                     With a shared commitment to protecting the kiwi, more of us may have the privilege
                                     of having our national bird living in or near our neighbourhoods. Only in New Zealand
                                     do we have this possibility; let’s make it a reality.




                                     Chris Carter
                                     MINISTER OF CONSERVATION




                                                                                                                               1
                                    Introduction

                                    The kiwi has long been part of our national identity; it is a taonga (treasure) to Maori;
                                    and we have a strong and enduring attachment to this long-beaked relative of the
                                    moa. But it would be wrong to think that this flightless bird will continue to survive
                                    on emotional support alone.
                                    In areas outside conservation management, kiwi numbers are either in decline, by as
                                    much as 4 per cent a year in the North Island, or just holding their ground, as is the
                                    case in parts of the northern South Island and on Rakiura/Stewart Island.
                                    Stoats, roaming dogs, feral cats, ferrets, ground-set traps, and being hit by vehicles are
                                    the key threats. To deal with these, Department of Conservation scientists have been
                                    developing and testing methods of conserving kiwi, with extra government funding
                                    for research since 2000.
                                    A complex picture of kiwi biology and ecology is emerging. For instance, trapping
                                    stoats may lead to more rats that in turn compete for food with kiwi. Conservation
                                    methods that work well in the North Island may not in the South. Controlling pests
                                    only in years when more benefits are likely, rather than annually, would lead to slower
                                    increases in kiwi populations but free up resources to protect kiwi at new sites.
                                    To complicate the picture further, genetic science in the last few years has revealed
    Mason’s Bay, Rakiura/Stewart
                                    11 varieties of kiwi, six more than previously thought. The life cycles and behaviour
                          Island.
       Photo: Rogan Colbourne       of kiwi differ greatly from one end of New Zealand to the other. Both issues affect the
                                    design of kiwi conservation programmes.

                                      Kiwi by numbers: 2006 estimates

                                      North Island brown kiwi (4 varieties)                                         25,000
                                      Little spotted kiwi                                                            1,425
                                      Great spotted kiwi (roroa)                                                    17,000
                                      Okarito brown kiwi (rowi)                                                        250
                                      Haast tokoeka                                                                    300
                                      Southern tokoeka (3 varieties):                                               34,500
                                        Stewart Island                                                             20,000
                                        Southern Fiordland                                                           4,500
                                        Northern Fiordland                                                         10,000

                                      Total                                                                         78,475

                                      Notes: The accuracy of kiwi population estimates ranges from very high for little
                                      spotted kiwi to plus or minus 20% in the case of North Island brown kiwi, great
                                      spotted kiwi and southern tokoeka. Estimates for this last group have been revised
                                      upwards in the last year.
                                      The southern tokoeka (Ngai Tahu: weka with a walking stick) was previously
                                      known as South Island brown kiwi and Stewart Island brown kiwi.




2
Tracking tokoeka, with Olly (left)
and Lucy, Rakiura/Stewart Island.
         Photo: Hugh Robertson
                                     Two of the new varieties of kiwi, on the West Coast at Okarito and in the Haast Range,
                                     have been discovered just in time to save them from extinction; they number 250 and
                                     300 individuals respectively.
                                     No one size fits all when it comes to managing kiwi, and DOC cannot do the work
                                     on kiwi conservation alone. There are now more than 60 community-led projects
                                     around the country, most of them in the North Island, where many kiwi still survive
                                     on private land.
                                     Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust has made a big contribution by sponsoring
                                     kiwi conservation, offering an opportunity for all New Zealanders to get involved.
                                     Because scientists now know much more about kiwi and how to protect them, DOC
                                     is able to lend more of a hand to community-led projects, which are then more likely
                                     to be effective.
                                     The new deal for kiwi started in 2000 with the Government’s establishment of the
                                     DOC kiwi sanctuaries – three in the North Island, two in the South. This brochure
                                     summarises the results and knowledge gained in the last six years; draft goals to 2016
                                     for kiwi conservation; examples of the work communities are doing; and community
                                     perspectives on kiwi conservation.
                                     This brochure has been produced to inspireNew Zealanders to take more interest in
                                     our national bird. It would help the cause if all of us took more care with our dogs
                                     and cats, and on the roads, and to the extent that each of us are able, got involved in
                                     kiwi care projects.




                                                                                                                          3
.




                                      The kiwi sanctuaries

                                      In 2000 the Department of Conservation set up five “kiwi sanctuaries”, sites for
                                      developing better methods of protecting kiwi in the wild. It was recognised that stoats
                                      are a key threat and that controlling them is a priority.
                                      The kiwi sanctuaries are in Northland (near Whangarei), the Coromandel (Moehau),
                                      Tongariro Forest, and Okarito and Haast on the West Coast of the South Island. The
                                      Government’s Biodiversity Strategy funding package allocated $10 million over five
                                      years to the project, funding that has since been baselined into DOC’s budget.


                                      N O RT H I S L A N D
                                      In the Northland (10,000 ha) and Coromandel (12,000 ha) sanctuaries, stoat trapping
                                      has worked very well. By 2005 up to 70 per cent of chicks were surviving to six
                                      months old, compared to 11 per cent at unmanaged sites. At this age, they weigh 1kg
                                      and are able to defend themselves against stoats.Adult populations (c. 300 at each site
                                      in 2000) have been increasing by up to 13 per cent a year. Numbers are expected to
                                      reach 1000 at each site within the next decade.
                                      The next step has been to reduce the frequency of trap checks to 12–15 times a year
             Haast Kiwi Sanctuary.
                                      from once a fortnight at both sanctuaries to free up resources to manage an extra 6000
          Photo: Rogan Colbourne
                                      ha of kiwi habitat. While chick survival at the sanctuaries has dropped to 50–60 per
                                      cent, populations are still growing rapidly enough to assure good rates of recovery.
                                      A different approach to stoat control was trialled in Tongariro Forest, 15,000 ha in
                                      the upper Whanganui catchment north of Mt Ruapehu, where there were around
                                      200 birds. An increase in chick survival rates from 12 per cent a year to 36 per cent
                                      following a 1080 poison possum control operation in 2000 suggests that good levels
          Camp kitchen, Haast Kiwi
                                      of secondary poisoning of stoats occurred.To further increase the chick survival rate,
                         Sanctuary.   Operation Nest Egg, a captive rearing programme, has been used.
          Photo: Rogan Colbourne




    4 4
Radio tracking Haast tokoeka.
              Photo: Ian Gill




                                SOUTH ISLAND
                                The two sanctuaries on the West Coast – for the Okarito brown kiwi (rowi) and the
                                Haast tokoeka – have had less success with stoat trapping because of a peculiarity of
                                South Island forest ecology.
                                In some years beech and rimu produce abnormally high levels of seeds or fruit, which
                                                      cause rodent populations to explode, which in turn lead to
                                                      stoat plagues. When rodent numbers crash on running out of
                                                      food, the stoats get hungry. No amount of trapping can keep
                                                      them away from young kiwi, DOC scientists have discovered.
                                                      At 10,000 ha, the Okarito sanctuary covers the entire range
                                                      of this species, numbering around 250 individuals. Because of
                                                      repeated stoat plagues, few or no rowi chicks have survived in
                                                      the wild in three of the last five years of monitoring. Operation
                                                      Nest Egg has been used to save some chicks from otherwise
                                                      certain death. Similar issues apply to the Haast sanctuary
                                                      (12,000 ha), except that stoat predation is less intense. Chicks
                                                      have been successfully raised in the wild in four of the last five
                                                      years at this site.
              Haast tokoeka.
              Photo: Ian Gill
                                OT H E R D O C P RO J E C T S
                                Kiwi are among a range of threatened native species managed at DOC “mainland island
                                projects”, sites where several species of pest are controlled simultaneously.
                                Examples of such projects are Trounson Kauri Park in Northland, northern Te Urewera,
                                Boundary Stream/Maungaharuru in Hawke’s Bay, the southern slopes of Mt Ruapehu
                                (Rangataua forest), Pukaha/Mt Bruce, Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park, and in
                                Fiordland near the Milford Track and in the Murchison mountains.
                                DOC manages a number of predator-free offshore island sanctuaries to protect a range
                                of native species, including little spotted kiwi and North Island brown kiwi.
                                The kiwi sanctuaries and other projects have focused on priority areas for kiwi
                                conservation, in the knowledge that kiwi numbers on Stewart Island, in much of
                                Fiordland, Northwest Nelson and parts of inland Canterbury are relatively stable
                                because of their remoteness from human habitation and the fact that very wet, cold
                                sites tend to have fewer pests.




                                                                                                                     5
    Returning Haast tokoeka to the
                                     Public involvement
         wild, Operation Nest Egg.
                   Photo: Ian Gill

                                     Running in parallel to the kiwi sanctuaries is work involving communities in kiwi care.
                                     The emphasis has been on information sharing and support by DOC staff, funding
                                     support from Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust, and the Government’s
                                     Biodiversity Advice and Condition Fund grants.


                                     C O M M U N I T Y P RO J E C T S
                                     More than 60 community-based kiwi initiatives have developed, the majority in the
                                     last five years, many involving iwi.They are run mainly as managed sites in the wild, as
                                     well as fenced predator-proof kiwi chick creche sites and predator-free island creche
                                     sites. In total, community-led protection covers more than 50,000 ha of kiwi habitat,
                                     close to the 70,000 ha of kiwi habitat managed by DOC.
                                     Northland and the Coromandel are the focus for community kiwi care groups, with
                                     more than 30 in Northland alone. Community support for kiwi management has now
                                     taken root in Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and in East Coast/Hawke’s Bay.
                                     There are relatively few community-based initiatives in the South Island (a notable
                                     example is a project at Arthur’s Pass), mainly because of the remoteness of kiwi
                                     populations. Fortunately, the needs of kiwi are generally less urgent in much of the
              Haast tokoeka chick,   South Island, with the exception of the rowi and the Haast tokoeka.
        Willowbank, Christchurch.
       Photo: Willowbank Wildlife
                          Reserve




6
           Haast tokoeka.
    Photo: Chrissy Wickes




                               BA N K O F N E W Z E A L A N D S AV E T H E
                               K I W I T RU S T
                               A sponsorship agreement between DOC and Bank
                               of New Zealand provides around 15 per cent of
                               total funding spent on kiwi conservation, and other
                               resources,with the annual contribution now exceeding
                               $600,000 a year and continuing to grow.
                               The Trust has helped ensure sound kiwi management
                               practice, with its board approving funding allocations.
Checking a Haast tokoeka
                               The Trust has also challenged DOC in its formulation of
          egg for fertility.   kiwi recovery goals to help motivate New Zealanders
          Photo: Ian Gill      to take action to save our national bird.

                               Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi’s
                               Operation Nest Egg
                               Under Operation Nest Egg, kiwi eggs or chicks are
                               taken from the wild, hatched and raised in captivity for
                               around six months until the juveniles reach 1kg, the
                               weight at which they are able to defend themselves
                               from stoats, and when they can be returned to the wild.
                               Several zoos and wildlife parks are currently part of the
                               programme. More than 120 kiwi chicks are raised each
                               year, funded by Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi
                               Trust and the captive rearing institutions.
                               Rowi egg incubation, Willowbank, Christchurch.
                               Photo: Willowbank Wildlife Reserve




                                                                                      7
                                      I N T E RV I E W W I T H P E T E R T H O D E Y, BA N K O F N E W
                                      Z E A L A N D S AV E T H E K I W I T RU S T
                                      How did the Bank get involved in kiwi conservation?
                                      Bank of New Zealand became interested in the plight of the kiwi about 15 years ago.
                                      At the time there was surprisingly little information available about kiwi and although
                                      we knew it was in trouble, we didn’t know how many there were, where they lived or
                                      what threatened their survival. The Bank simply could not stand back and allow our
                                      national icon to become extinct.
                                      We decided that becoming actively involved in supporting kiwi conservation efforts
                                      was the best way for us to help. So far, we’ve contributed about $7 million, money that
                                      has come from the Bank through sponsorship fees and from customer donations. We
                                      have a long way to go, but we believe our involvement with the protection of the kiwi
                                      will prove to be historically significant.

    Peter Thodey, managing director   What have you required from your side?
              Bank of New Zealand
                                      When we developed Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust, we wanted to create
                                      something that would add relevance to kiwi conservation. Obviously, that was
                                      important from the point of view of the bird, but we also wanted to establish an
                                      organisation that had a very professional focus and would integrate the Bank with
                                      DOC and the community. I believe we’ve developed a good template for environmental
                                      sponsorships.
                                      In an effort to develop the credibility of the Trust’s leadership, we have been very
                                      fortunate to have found two leading experts in the scientific field who have volunteered
                                      their time as independent trustees. They review the work DOC is doing and provide
                                      objective opinions. That has helped create a balance between corporate sponsorship
                                      and conservation. It also showed the community and conservation groups that the
                                      Trust isn’t DOC and the Bank sitting around a boardroom table divvying up money;
                                      decisions are made by experts who are involved with the Trust and who have a passion
                                      for kiwi. It’s a very hands-on – and hearts-on – trust.
                                      And that goes for Bank staff, too. I believe that for a corporate sponsorship to work,
                                      it has to have the support of staff. Not only do Bank staff promote products that raise
                                      money for the Trust like kiwi Eftpos cards and cheques, but staff are also encouraged
                                      to become involved in conservation work. For instance, staff are involved in some
                                      restoration projects by planting trees and shrubs. Sometimes, staff go out when kiwi
                                      chicks are released back to the wild. People can more easily support the kiwi products
                                      when they have experienced for themselves what the Trust accomplishes.

              Haast tokoeka return.
               Operation Nest Egg.
                    Photo: Ian Gill




8
Radio tracking rowi at Okarito.
                Photo: Ian Gill


                                   How have you done your promotion of kiwi?
                                   In 2005, the Bank commissioned research to find out what New Zealanders think about
                                   kiwi. We found that the average New Zealander felt a connection with kiwi and sees
 Top: Haast tokoeka transfer to    the kiwi as a symbol of inclusion – it is the one thing in New Zealand that transcends
    Burwood reserve,Te Anau.       race, gender, religion, age and ethnicity. However, while 87 per cent surveyed felt
                Photo: Ian Gill
                                   that saving the kiwi should be a national priority, the research showed that people
Rowi transfer from Willowbank,
Christchurch to Motuara Island.    weren’t aware of the situation of kiwi or that a lot of work needs to be done to save
                 Photo: Ian Gill   our national icon.
                                                 The message the Bank used in its campaign – that kiwi could disappear
                                                 from a region near you in 15 years – was not only accurate, but created
                                                 a sense of urgency.
                                                 But we also needed to convey hope and opportunity. New Zealanders
                                                 need to know that they can do something to help the kiwi and that
                                                 every New Zealander can make a contribution and difference.

                                                 Goals of the Trust’s kiwi programme?
                                                 We want to increase the number of kiwi in New Zealand, increase the
                                                 number of places where kiwi live, and maintain their genetic diversity.
                                                 Those goals are based on what the kiwi scientists have told us and affect
                                                 the kinds of projects that we are keen to support.
                                                 The funding has typically been divided with 40 per cent going to DOC
                                                 for research, 40 per cent to community projects and 20 per cent being
                                                 used for advocacy work.The level of community involvement is growing
                                                 – there are now 60 community groups (there were barely any when we
                                                 started) and these groups all need support. Consequently, every year we
                                                 need to raise more money.
                                                 The Trust’s contribution to kiwi conservation is continuing to grow to
                                                 meet the expanding needs of kiwi conservation. We’ve accomplished
                                                 a lot so far, but we need New Zealanders’ help to make it happen. It is,
                                                 after all, about “Kiwis saving kiwi”.




                                                                                                                        9
                                    Draft goals for kiwi conservation
                                    2006–2016

                                    The Department of Conservation’s kiwi recovery team is working with tangata
                                    whenua, community groups, and other interested groups and individuals on planning
                                    conservation work to 2016.The over-arching goal is for at least 300 pairs each of rowi
                                    and Haast tokoeka, and 500 pairs each of the other types of kiwi, in predator-safe
                                    conditions, and stable or growing in numbers.


                                    C O M M U N I T Y R E L AT I O N S
                                    • Tangata whenua: Iwi are involved from the ground up in kiwi research and
                                      management, an expectation under the Treaty of Waitangi.
                                    • Communities: New Zealanders continue to become actively involved in kiwi
                                      conservation, especially on private land. As the community role continues to grow,
                                      more support will be needed, e.g. via continued information sharing.
                                    • Advocacy: Maintain and where possible boost local support for kiwi conservation,
                                      raise public awareness of the need to reduce the threats dogs and cats pose to kiwi,
                                      and raise the profile of kiwi work.
                                    • Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust:A partner in kiwi conservation nationally,
                                      crucial for resourcing, supporting DOC research and community work, and
                                      advocacy.
                                    • Operation Nest Egg: Continue working closely with captive management
                                      institutions.
                                    • Local government: Step up involvement, via legislation, regulations and policies, e.g.
                                      on dog control. Promote kiwi conservation as part of conservation advocacy.


     Back to the wild for a young
                  Haast tokoeka.
                  Photo: Ian Gill




10
10
From left: Writing rowi into
                the records.   M A NAG E M E N T
            Photo: Ian Gill
Chick weighing, Operation      • North Island: Improve stoat control technology and cost-effectiveness to increase
                 Nest Egg.       the area of kiwi habitat under control. Where roaming dogs are a problem, urgent
 Photo: Rogan Colbourne
                                 action is needed, including advocacy and kiwi avoidance training. Maintain support
                                 to community groups.
                               • South Island: The rowi and Haast tokoeka most need conservation management,
                                 because stoat control has been less effective than in the North, and egg laying rates
                                 are lower. Individual kiwi could be placed into areas of greater food availability, e.g.
                                 predator-free islands, to see if egg laying rates increase. Rat and possum control
                                 may lead to more insect availability, benefiting kiwi. Encourage community group
                                 participation in kiwi management.
                               • Off-site management: Establish back-up populations at predator-secure sites on
                                 islands and intensively-managed mainland sites.
                               • Maintain genetic diversity: Monitor the risk of inbreeding arising from Operation
                                 Nest Egg, e.g. eggs from some pairs can be taken more easily than others.
                               • Captive breeding: Reduce female deaths from egg peritonitis, and male deaths
                                 during re-pairing. Improve the adaptability of chicks to artificial diets, and improve
                                 chick survival on transfer from brooders to outside pens.

                               MORE RESEARCH
                               • Genetics and taxonomy: Research on physical characteristics, behaviour, and
                                 distribution to better identify priority populations for management. Improve the
                                 formal classifications of the different types of kiwi.
                               • Monitoring: Continue kiwi listening and reporting schemes. Five-yearly stocktakes of
                                 banded populations of kiwi at six sites around the country to measure progress.
                               • New areas of research: Minimum areas for managing kiwi; effects of 1080 on pests at
                                 Tongariro; kiwi diseases; sustainability of community groups; monitoring techniques
                                 for kiwi and small mammal pests; effects of kiwi dispersal behaviour.


                                                                                                                     11
                                                                                                                     11
                                    Kiwi facts

                                    Active by night, a prodder of forest floor for insects, the kiwi is to New Zealand as the
                                    hedgehog is to Europe, with one crucial difference.The hedgehog enjoys a high-speed
                                    lifestyle, while the kiwi lives much longer, eats much less, and reproduces much more
                                    slowly.
                                    Alone among birds in having a nose at the end of its beak, and notable for laying eggs
                                    up to one-fifth of their body weight, the kiwi is unlike any other bird on Earth.
                                    In some varieties, the egg is incubated for 80 days by the male alone, during which
                                    time he loses up to 20 per cent of his body weight. The chick hatches fully feathered
                                    and within five days is ready to get on with life. While still juvenile, it strikes off on its
                                    own, often walking great distances to find a territory.
                                    Until it reaches 1kg at about six months old, the young kiwi is at the mercy of any
                                    hungry stoat or cat. From about that time, the kiwi can defend itself against stoats but
                                    not roaming dogs or ferrets.
                                    All going well, kiwi reach sexual maturity at 2–4 years of age, and then the courtship
                                    game begins. On a spring night after dark, the calls of male kiwi and the females’
                                    answering calls may be heard in kiwi areas.A pair of kiwi may produce up to 100 eggs
                                    in a lifetime of 50 years or more.

                                    North Island brown kiwi, 4 varieties: estimated pop. 25,000
                                    For many New Zealanders, this is the kiwi we think of. It’s the one that lives closest to
                                    human habitation, familiar to many communities in Northland, Bay of Plenty, East Coast/
                                    Hawke’s Bay and parts of Taranaki, and is the main species on display in captivity.
                                    The North Island brown is a faster breeder than other kiwi, producing up to two eggs
                                    a clutch and 1–2 clutches a year, as opposed to the more usual one egg every year in
                                    South Island varieties. On the down side, stoats are a permanent issue in North Island
                                    forests. Where not managed, kiwi numbers are halving every 15 years.
                                    In the kiwi sanctuaries, by contrast, stoat control has been so effective that many more
                                    chicks survive than are needed to allow populations to recover. But this success is
                                    being undermined (in parts of Northland in particular) by roaming dogs.The solution
                                    is easy in principle – a change in attitude among dog owners – and is a goal for DOC
                                    community relations work in affected areas.


North Island brown kiwi, Rotorua.
               Photo: Rod Morris




12
         Little spotted kiwi.
   Photo: Rogan Colbourne


                                Little spotted kiwi, estimated pop. 1,425
                                The smallest and once the commonest kiwi is vulnerable to stoats at all stages of its
                                life cycle. The little spotted is now restricted to several predator-free offshore islands
                                and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. While their numbers are expanding offshore, the
                                potential for mainland restoration is limited, currently, to fenced-off areas like Karori
                                Wildlife Sanctuary. They used to live in parts of the North Island, the West Coast of the
Great spotted kiwi, Hurunui.    South Island and Fiordland.
   Photo: Rogan Colbourne

                                                    Great spotted kiwi (roroa), estimated pop. 17,000
                                                    The giant among kiwi (whence the Ngai Tahu name, roroa), this
                                                    turkey-sized bird lives in mountainous areas of the northern South
                                                    Island. Its strongholds are in Kahurangi National Park, the Paparoa
                                                    Range, and the beech forests of inland Canterbury. Trampers on
                                                    the Heaphy Track may have heard the roroa’s trilling call after
                                                    nightfall, or the sound of them rustling through the bush.
                                                    Roroa have been released into Rotoiti, in Nelson Lakes National
                                                    Park, as part of DOC extending its range. Because they live in
                                                    remote areas, the only threat is stoats which live at lower densities
                                                    in high altitude and high rainfall terrain. In much of Northwest
                                                    Nelson, numbers of roroa appear to be stable.

                                                    Okarito brown kiwi (rowi), estimated pop. 250
                                                    The rowi is one of two critically-endangered varieties, and is
                                                    restricted to 10,000 ha of lowland podocarp forest at Okarito in
                                                    Westland.The complete area is a DOC kiwi sanctuary.Despite a huge
                                                    trapping effort, results have been poor, and the key conservation
                                                    method to build up the population will be Operation Nest Egg
                                                    – the taking of eggs from the wild and hatching and rearing them
                                                    in captivity until the chicks reach 1kg when they can be returned
                                                    to the wild.
                                                  The rowi’s lifespan of up to 100 years allows it to cope with
                                                  much lower rates of chick survival than are needed in the North
                                                  Island. But it faces serious conservation challenges: motor vehicle
                                                  traffic on the side-road to Okarito township, a forest ecology that
      Rowi, Motuara Island.     encourages frequent stoat plagues, and the fact that young rowi tend to return to the
            Photo: Ian Gill     same burrow for years, increasing the risk of being attacked by stoats.


                                                                                                                       13
                                           Haast tokoeka, estimated pop. 300
                                           Scattered through 15,000 ha of cold, wet, rugged, mountainous terrain in
                                           South Westland lives the second critically-endangered kiwi, the Haast tokoeka.
                                           Two-thirds of this area is covered by a kiwi sanctuary, and stoat trapping is the
                                           main population recovery tool.
                                           Of all areas under kiwi management, this is the most difficult to work in, for the
                                           inhospitable climate and geography, and the shyness of the birds. Population
                                           recovery appears to be occurring at a slightly faster rate than for rowi.

                                           Southern tokoeka, 3 varieties, estimated pop. 34,500
                                           Located in Fiordland and Stewart Island, the southern tokoeka (Ngai Tahu,
                                           weka with a walking stick) is the most numerous species of kiwi. This is no
                                           accident – this species is exposed to relatively few threats apart from stoats.
                                           Unusual among kiwi for being active during the daytime, the Stewart Island
                                           variety numbers around 20,000 birds.Visitors to Stewart Island may have been
                                           lucky enough to see them chasing sandhoppers on the beaches. Numbers are
                                           thought to be relatively stable because there are no stoats or ferrets and few
                                           dogs on the island, although there are feral cats.
          Haast tokoeka showing
     distinctive reddish plumage.
                                    The Fiordland contingent is divided into northern (10,000) and southern (4,500)
        Photo: Rogan Colbourne      groups, which are either stable or in gradual decline. Conservation projects for
                                    tokoeka involve Operation Ark sites, e.g., near the Milford Track, where the focus of
                                    protection is mohua (yellowhead) and blue duck (whio) via simultaneous control
                                    of stoats, rats and possums; as well as a large-scale stoat control experiment in the
                                    Murchison Mountains, and projects removing stoats from islands in Fiordland.
 Stewart Island tokoeka chasing
                   sandhoppers.
              Photo: Tui De Roy




14
Map prepared by Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust




                                                          15
                                     Threats to kiwi

                                     Like much of New Zealand’s wildlife, the kiwi evolved in isolation from the rest of the
                                     world for 65 million years until the first humans arrived 1000 years ago.
                                     Long-lived and slow breeding, the kiwi and many other native species are no match for
                                     introduced mammals, armed with speed, a keen sense of smell enabling them to hunt
                                     at night, fast metabolisms and high rates of reproduction.

                                     Dog (Canis lupus familiaris):
                                     Whether it is a pig dog or a poodle, man’s best friend is rarely a kiwi’s. In parts of
                                     Northland in particular, as well as in Te Urewera, Wanganui, the Coromandel and
                                     Taranaki, roaming dogs are making huge dents in kiwi populations. The roamers may
                                     be pig dogs, pets, working dogs in rural areas, or dogs that have gone feral from lack
                                     of care and been forced to live off the land.
                                     In the Northland Kiwi Sanctuary (managed for stoats), the average lifespan of kiwi is
                                     only 13 years, compared with more than 50 years in the Tongariro Forest Sanctuary,
                                     where there are few dogs. One roaming dog in Waitangi Forest killed an estimated 500
                                     kiwi in six weeks.
                                     Dog control would be easy in principle – keep them on a leash, tie them up, kennel
     Tui, labrador-pointer cross.    them or fence them in when at home. But this is not an option for pig hunters, and a
      Photo: Herb Christophers       challenge in rural communities.
                                     A growing number of pig hunters are taking their dogs through DOC-run kiwi aversion
                                     training schemes, but more study is needed to show how well the technique works.

                                     Stoat (Mustela ermina):
                                     Introduced in the 1880s to control rabbits, this relative of the weasel and ferret predates
                                     juvenile kiwi up to 1kg. They can travel great distances, enter holes and burrows, and
                                     are now widespread throughout most New Zealand forests.

               From left: Stoat.     Trapping is the main form of control, usually using hen’s eggs as bait, in a double trap
          Photo: DOC archives        laid every 150m–200m along lines 1km apart. Secondary poisoning can occur from
         Ship rat in fantail nest.
                                     eating rat and possum carcasses following 1080 poison operations. The baits need to
          Photo: David Mudge
                      Ship rat.
                                     be checked every two weeks in summer and less frequently in winter.
     Photo: Herb Christophers




16
16
                                   Feral cat (Felis silvestris catus):
                                   There may be as many as 2 million cats in New Zealand. Our household moggies
                                   are the origin of the thousands of cats that have gone wild, either from dumping
                                   unwanted cats or encouraging stray populations, and these cats kill kiwi chicks.
                                   Control is extremely difficult because cats can range over several kilometres every
                                   night and trapping is the only method of capture at present.

                                   Ferret (Mustela furo):
                                   The largest relative of the stoat in New Zealand, the ferret or fitch is a particular
                                   problem in Northland, the Central North Island, Te Urewera, Taranaki and Wanganui.
                                   Ferrets’ main prey are rats but if there are few rats, they may switch to attacking kiwi,
                                   including the smaller adult males.

                                   Ship rat, Norway rat (Rattus rattus, R norvegicus):
                                   Rats do not attack kiwi directly but they appear to compete for insect food and fruit.
                     Feral cat.
          Photo: Grant Harper      The issue has arisen in areas where there is good stoat control, because the absence
                                   of stoats allows rat populations to increase. The effect needs further research, and an
                                   opportunity will arise in Tongariro Forest in 2006/2007.
                                   The Animal Health Board and DOC intend to air drop 1080 baits over the Tongariro
                                   Forest Kiwi Sanctuary to kill possums as part of bovine Tb control. The secondary
                                   effect on rats and stoats (from scavenging carcasses) and consequently kiwi chick
                                   survivorship in the temporary absence of rats and stoats will be measured.

                                   People (Homo sapiens sapiens):
                                   Unwittingly or not, one of the biggest threats to kiwi are human beings, through
                                   careless ownership of dogs, dumping unwanted domestic cats or ferrets, or bad luck
                                   in hitting a kiwi while driving. Leaving stoats to one side, the kiwi that have it the best
                                   in New Zealand are the ones that live far from humans.
                                   Fortunately, more people are taking an interest in kiwi and are taking part directly in
                                   kiwi care projects, or indirectly via donations to Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi
                                   Trust. People are becoming increasingly part of the solution to kiwi decline.
Stoat trap, northern Te Urewera.
       Photo: Herb Christophers




                                                                                                                         17 7
                                                                                                                          1
                                     Community perspectives on kiwi
                                     conservation

                                     Hearing the call of kiwi – by Wendy Sporle
                                     When I began kiwi advocacy in Northland 16 years ago we didn’t really know why kiwi
                                     numbers were declining so quickly. Now we do, and New Zealanders have become
                                     motivated to ensure we do not lose them altogether.
                                     In areas where kiwi live, local people are taking up the call to action, with groups
                                     forming to protect new areas of habitat, especially on private land. Communities are
                                     also doing work in public conservation areas where the Department of Conservation
                                     lacks the resources.
                                     This momentum has been building over the last 6–7 years as more projects come on
 Wendy Sporle, national mentor       stream. Over time group members have seen kiwi numbers in their area increase.They
    for advocacy, Bank of New
        Zealand Save The Kiwi
                                     are also a vital part of kiwi conservation nationally.
                                     Kiwi numbers are declining most quickly in the North Island and that’s where
                                     community kiwi care projects are concentrated, in Northland,Taranaki, the Coromandel
                                     and Hawke’s Bay.
                                                                        Ensuring the continued survival of community
                                                                        kiwi care groups is a key issue, therefore, and there
                                                                        is no single answer – each group is different in the
                                                                        details, affecting how they work, their needs of
                                                                        DOC and the management methods used.
                                                                        Projects may be on private land, or on public land.
                                                                        They may cover a few hundred hectares or many
                                                                        thousands. The work may be hands-on captive
                                                                        management via Operation Nest Egg, or weed and
                                                                        animal pest control to protect habitat for kiwi (and
                                                                        other native species).
                                                                      Funding may be provided by many sources, others
                                                                      from just one (Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi
                                                                      Trust). Some groups do all the work themselves,
                                                                      others hire contractors. A few are fully funded but
      Farewell/poroporoaki from      most rely on voluntary work and commitment.
     Te Atiawa for rowi bound for
                          Okarito.   Some are formal organisations, others are neighbours who have banded together to do
                   Photo: Ian Gill   pest control over a larger area, with more benefits for kiwi. The groups have varying
                                     degrees of contact and support with local DOC offices, depending on the expertise
                                     and availability of DOC staff.
                                     The consistent thread is that communities are doing the work in a way that suits their
                                     aspirations, skills and resources. It is their project, their geographic area and their
                                     passion. They have ownership of how it is implemented and enormous pride in the
                                     achievements.
                                     To meet the continuity challenge, a project has started on “future proofing” community
                                     projects. Some ideas include funding key project staff, and more training in the form
                                     of a DVD.The development of strategic plans for each type of kiwi will help get more
                                     information into communities on kiwi care challenges and solving them.


18
                                T U T U K A K A – N O RT H L A N D
                                The power of one (after another) – by Dave Hansford
                                You’d swear there was a fantail for every sandfly here beside Mike Camm’s dam – the
                                spears of late sun are full of them. Beyond the thickets of raupo, the glossy, glassy water
                                is ruffled only by the wake left by a flotilla of pateke, the rare brown teal. There are
                                grey duck here too, and wait until the sun falls behind the rimu on the slopes beyond,
                                and you’ll hear the primal boom of that swamp phantom, the bittern.
                                “Not bad for a hay paddock, eh?” offers Mike. This gem of a wetland was bulldozed
                                during the 1970s, and filled in with money from a government farm development
                                fund. When Mike bought the place, the first thing he did was put it back.
                                Putting things right has been a central philosophy ever since.“I bought this place eight
                                years ago. I was thinking of developing my own little national park here, as you do.”
                                He knew that kiwi still survived on this 120 ha forest remnant near the Northland
                                coastal settlement of Tutukaka, but he knew too, that within a few years they’d be gone
                                – lost to the teeth and claws of stoats.
                                So he set to work, clearing lines for 170 Fenn traps. “I wasn’t starry-eyed about what
                                I was getting into,” he recalls. “I knew that making a commitment to something like
                                this had to be total; there’s not much room for anything else. If I were keen on going
                                sailing every weekend, I wouldn’t have started this.”
                                For a few years, he worked the trap lines alone,“then, as I met my neighbours, I realised
                                there was this common denominator”. One of the like minds, Nick Davies, started
                                setting traps on his own property and helps Mike with his.The pair eventually became
                                what Mike calls the nucleus of the Tutukaka Landcare Coalition “which sounds rather
                                formal and boring”, he points out,“until you appreciate the acronym.”
                                TLC, like so many things Northland, is anything but formal – they’ve held just two
                                meetings in four years. The philosophy, Mike points out, has always been:“let’s get on
                                and do stuff rather than talking about it.”
                                And that’s what they’re doing, with help from the Landcare Trust. Its Northland regional
                                coordinator Helen Moodie says Tutukaka embodies the Landcare principle:“it’s about
                                looking after what’s on your own land... without the support of landowners you can’t
                                go anywhere.”
                                That support comes in different forms and levels of commitment. Some maintain their
                                own traps, while others are happy just to let a contractor onto their place to do it.“We
                                have a core of about seven or eight landowners,” says Mike,“though there are another
                                30 lending tacit support – which adds up to some 2500 ha.”


Mike Camm and Helen Moodie.
 Photo: Dave Hansford/Origin
        Natural History Media




                                                                                                                     191 9
                                                                   That’s big enough, he reckons, to accommodate the
                                                                   seasonal movements of predators – it means they can get
                                                                   numbers low enough to get conservation gains. “We’re
                                                                   not looking for total eradication – that would be nice, but
                                                                   we don’t see it as a likelihood. We aim to get predators
                                                                   down to levels that will allow kiwi and our other key
                                                                   species – pateke, kakariki, what have you – to lift their
                                                                   survival rate much higher than it otherwise would be.”
                                                                   With support from the Department of Conservation,
                                                                   WWF-New Zealand, Ducks Unlimited, Northland District
                                                                   Council, Transpower and the Landcare Trust, TLC has
                                                                   more than doubled the number of kiwi inside its bounds.
                                                                   “Based on last year’s calls,” says Mike,“we think we have
                                                                   somewhere between 130 and 200 birds.”
    Tutukaka Landcare Coalition     Now neighbouring districts want in.“Two other land care projects have started up as
 members Nick Davies and Mike
Camm catch around 12 feral cats
                                    a result of ours, just a few kilometres away,” says Mike,“it’s a matter of joining the dots
a year in their purpose-designed    in the landscape.”
                           traps.
  Photo: Dave Hansford/Origin       As the scale has expanded, so has the scope. Now possums, cats and rats are in the
         Natural History Media
                                    crosshairs too, which means maintaining another 200 bait stations and live capture
                                    traps (for cats) as well as the Fenns. For Mike and Nick, that adds up to long, plodding
                                    hours of slog because, says Mike:“once you start on that road, you’ve got to cover all
                                    your bases; there’s no way around it.”
                                    If you take one pest out of the control mix, you can never be sure just how the others
                                    will respond to the gap left behind – will rats erupt if you kill off the stoats? And what
                                    might that mean for the smaller bush birds like fantails?
                                    Even more impressive is that Mike’s operation is run from an old caravan that’s seen
                                    its last stretch of tarmac, with a lean-to nailed up against it. He’s taken a decentralised
                                    approach to planning this haven; 200m down the gravel drive, just before a battered
                                    Mini, is his “communications centre”, a tin shed just big enough to keep his telephone
                                    out of the Northland summer downpours. Somewhere in a bushy gully to the west, the
                                    sound of hammer on tanalith announces the impending birth of his workshop.
                                    At the drive’s end, with a view over the returning forest toward’s Nick’s place, is a
                                    rustic ply-and-batten construction that is his bedroom. But right now, we’re slithering
                                    up a clay track to his “ultimate house site”.
                                    We break out from under the lanky kanuka into a view no Lotto win could buy; to the
                                    east, the Poor Knights Islands dotting the horizon, the languid coastline of Ngunguru.
                                    At our feet, his “own little national park” – ranks of rimu, totara and kauri.
                                    Kereru swoop between the leafy rewarewa, and even before he can brag about them,
                                    a flock of kakariki chatter from overhead. Bellbirds regularly fly from the Poor Knights
                                    to feed here, as do kaka.Tui chortle at one another across the valley.
                                    Best of all, Mike can bring the local schoolkids up here and know that they’ll hear kiwi
                                    – lots of them.
                                    From here, he can see the other blocks where like minds are doing the hard yards
                                    along the trap lines, and beyond TLC’s boundary to distant quarters where people are
                                    setting up their own projects. Helen Moodie says 19 other kiwi groups now treat some
                                    53,000 ha – 60 per cent of it on private land – to give our national emblem in flesh
                                    and feather, a future in Northland.



20
                                   WHANGAREI HEADS
                                   Combating acts of dog – by Dave Hansford
                                   At Whangarei Heads, six community groups have been controlling weeds and pests
       Todd Hamilton, a contract
wildlife manager, checks a North   over 6000 ha of native forest, pine plantations, scrub, pasture and wetland. Today the
     Island brown kiwi at a farm   area boasts more kiwi to the hectare than anywhere else in New Zealand, says Todd
   near Whangarei Heads. While
                                   Hamilton, a founding member of the Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum.
conservation work is going well,
 roaming dogs continue to be a
                                   One reason is the access to food all year round – the kiwi can chase crickets in rank
                 menace to kiwi.
 Photos: Dave Hansford/Origin      grass in the summer, and fossick for worms in pasture during the winter.Another saviour
          Natural History Media    is the abundant puriri; the fallen timber make for ready-made burrows impervious to
                                               digging dogs, a major predator of kiwi.
                                             The forum started trapping stoats in 2001 and hired Todd as a part-time
                                             trapper the following year. Stoat numbers have been knocked down to the
                                             point where land owners may go months without catching one.
                                             As well as growing kiwi numbers, the area is seeing more tui and kukupa
                                             (native pigeon), little blue penguins and visiting kaka from the Hen and
                                             Chickens Islands.
                                             The forum can now afford to leave male kiwi to brood the eggs, as nature
                                             intended. A few chicks are fitted with transmitters to ensure the stoat
                                             control is still working.
                                             But the Whangarei Heads kiwi have not always done so well. Numbers had
                                             dropped down to a few breeding pairs and isolated individuals. Today’s
                                             managed population was kick-started in the last five years by releasing
                                             around 50 subadults raised in captivity at Auckland Zoo, Whangarei Native
                                             Bird Rescue Centre, and on predator-free Motuora and Matakohe/Limestone
                                             Islands.
                                             Todd has named almost all of the Heads’ kiwi, some after sponsors – Flash
                                             for Transpower, Bacon for Kiwi smallgoods – and others after the owners of
                                             the land they live on. When they see Todd on the side of the road with his
                                             antenna, they stop to ask how “their” kiwi is doing. A farmer who’s tuned
                                             into the local kiwi is more likely to look after their dogs and keep them
                                             away from kiwi.




                                                                                                                     21 1
                                                                                                                      2
                                       W H E N UA K I T E – C O RO M A N D E L
                                       The case for the defence – by Dave Hansford
                                       One April morning Arthur Hinds discovered a vehicle half-hidden near his property,
                                       looking like a pig dog carrier. “I suspected they might be on our block, I went up
                                                            and got to the dogs before the hunters did.” He found five dogs
                                                            locked onto a pig inside his boundary and shot three of them.
                                                             Pilloried in the media and on hunters’ web sites, the Coromandel
                                                             dairy farmer, Waikato regional councillor and chair of the
                                                             Whenuakite Kiwi Care Group is unrepentent. He knows dogs’
                                                             lethal impact on kiwi as well as anyone. In 1997 his own
                                                             Weimaraner killed one during a walk in the back paddocks. He
                                                             reported the death to DOC which sent a ranger to collect the
                                                             bird.
                                                             Whenuakite is a swathe of coastal broadleaf forest, an outrider of
                                                             Coromandel Forest Park, clothed in rimu and crowned with old
                                                             volcanic plugs and spires. This is the heart of the kiwi group’s
                                                             work, a partnership with DOC and Environment Waikato.
    Whenuakite Kiwi Care Group         Around the periphery are farmed steeplands, pine stands and regenerating scrub. It’s
  chairman Arthur Hinds has zero
tolerance for roaming dogs on his      hard country and the group controls predators over 50 properties – 560 traps on
   Coromandel property. The trap       52km of lines. Hired contractors check most of them once a month in winter, and
                below is for stoats.
                                       fortnightly for the rest of the year. Landowners maintain the rest themselves.
   Photos: Dave Hansford/Origin
           Natural History Media
                                       For their part, Arthur runs 36 traps on his family’s 465 ha, and his wife Diane is the
                                       kiwi group’s treasurer. She says that while volunteers save the group around $60,000
                                       annually in labour costs, fundraising still occupies most of their time and effort. Each
                                       year, they have to find $60,000 to $70,000, mostly to control stoats, ferrets, weasels
                                       and feral cats.
                                       Much of the shortfall is met by a government Biodiversity Condition and Advice Fund
                                       Grant. Environment Waikato contributes, along with WWF-New Zealand and Bank of
                                       New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust.
                                       The group monitors progress by staging regular call counts at 24 prescribed sites over
                                       several but not consecutive nights. “In 2001 we counted 31 birds,” says Arthur. “This
                                       year we had 68, which was absolutely brilliant.”
                                       The next big step at Whenuakite was a DOC aerial 1080 poison operation aimed at
                                       rats, timed to give the native birds a respite to breed. Most landowners in the kiwi care
                                       group supported the operation.




22
                                       P U K A H A / M T B RU C E
                                       Recalling the choir – by Dave Hansford
                                       Take a walk in most any mainland forest today, and you can hear yourself think, which
                                       was more than could the teacher at Mt Bruce’s first school. It’s said that she dismissed
                                       her class one 19th Century morning because she couldn’t make herself heard above
                                       the chorus of kokako outside.
                                       SH 2 cleaves a route north from Masterton to Eketahuna, swinging close by the National
                                       Wildlife Centre at Mt Bruce – known to Rangitaane people as Pukaha – squeezed
                                       between the Tararua Range and the 942 ha that remain of Seventy-Mile Bush.
                                       Ranks of totara, rimu and rata once crowded these hills between Masterton and
                                       Norsewood.The calls of tui, kaka, bellbird pierced this misty, mossy realm, but birdsong
                                       became swansong as one by one, the chorus departed the stage. Some of the singers
                                       – the huia, piopio, bush wren, laughing owl – were never heard from again.
                                       Even the most resilient, the kaka, tieke and kiwi, eventually fled or perished as raging
                                       clearance fires devoured the forest, and the kokako went with them.
                                       The Pukaha Mt Bruce Board means to bring the din back, and with the help of some
                                       imaginative fundraising, fierce local support and some friends in high places, they’ve
                                       made a start.
                                       Born out of the signatures of the Department of Conservation, the National Wildlife
                                       Centre Trust, Rangitaane O Wairarapa and others, the Board has pledged to drive the
                                       predators out of Pukaha and return its rightful occupants.
                                       Like conservation anywhere, this project needs a lot of money – more than $200,000
                                       a year – and commitment. Through Masterton mayor Bob Francis, the Board secured
                                       both. “It became clear that to sustain this into the future,” he recalls, “it was going to
                                       take a far bigger effort from the community. I suppose that’s where I got involved.”
                                       In late 2004, Bob led a fundraising campaign that ended with a 12-hour telethon and
          The reward for hours of      more than $500,000 worth of support from local businesses and communities.
volunteer labour at Pukaha comes
   for Daniel McKeague of Florida      As well, the Board sells CDs of native birdsong and invites people to sponsor a hectare’s
 as he releases a young kiwi back
                    into the forest.
                                       worth of pest control each year, the sort of fresh thinking that has allowed species like
    Photo: Dave Hansford/Origin        kokako, kaka, and most recently the kiwi, a return appearance.
           Natural History Media




                                                                                                                           232 3
                                    DOC ranger Tony Silbery had a sense the plan might just come off when he had to find
                                    a bigger hall to hold their first public meeting.“We had something like 300 people turn
                                    up to hear Bob announce the kiwi plan – I was just amazed.”
                                    Take the long labours of Rangitaane’s young men and women who spent three years
                                    cutting tracks, 110km of them in sometimes atrocious weather, opening the way for
                                    the trap lines marking Pukaha’s line in the sand between predators and paradise.
                                    Kaka were the first to return home, in 1996.The first six kokako were released in July
                                    2003. Then, in December the same year, six adult kiwi. Today, 11 kiwi range the hills
                                    behind the visitor centre, the offspring of captive breeding efforts in the early 2000s
North Island brown kiwi leaving
 their mark at Pukaha Mt Bruce.
                                    at Rainbow Springs and Otorohanga and other centres. Last season, two kiwi set up
         Photo: Stephanie Weller    nest burrows barely five metres from the Centre’s busiest tracks.
                                    There is no fence around Pukaha, and that’s down to a philosophy as much as any
                                    practical consideration. Pukaha sets out to prove a point, says DOC Wairarapa Area
                                    Manager Derrick Field:“On the mainland, you need to be able to control pests forever,
                                    and simply fencing them out doesn’t achieve that. We wanted to demonstrate that it
                                    could be done.”
                                    A vision still more precious, says Tony Silbery, is the prospect of kiwi living within
                                    the wider world, safe. “The day when a kiwi sets up a territory outside the reserve,
Testing stoat trapping methods at
                                    I’ll be chuffed. I can’t wait till I’m up there one night and I see a bird trotting across a
                 Pukaha Mt Bruce.
          Photo: Stephanie Weller   neighbour’s property; I’ll be on the phone to them the next day.”
                                                                   Meanwhile, Bob Francis – now chairman of the Pukaha
                                                                   Mt Bruce Board – is making sure the bills get paid and
                                                                   the traps keep getting set:“We have funding in place
                                                                   now for the next five years and we’re also building a
                                                                   capital fund – we’re up to close on $200,000 in that
                                                                   – which we’ll be using beyond that five-year period.”
                                                                   There are plans galore – new funding, education, a
                                                                   new visitor centre, conservation training programmes
                                                                   for young people emphasising mainland restoration.
                                                                   Partnerships with Rangitaane (Tony likens it to the
                                                                   confluence of the Clutha and the Shotover), District
                                                                   and Regional Councils which continue the pest control
                                                                   beyond Pukaha’s bounds, with business (the Tui Brewery
                                                                   down the road chipped in $275,000), with schools,
                                                                   with Trade and Enterprise New Zealand, and with those
                                                                   hectare-sponsors from suburbs all over the country.
                                                                   “The thing about Pukaha,” says Tony, “is that it’s about
                                                                   rebuilding as much as restoration.” For Rangitaane, their
                                                                   young people get a glimpse of their spiritual estate, the
                                                                   earth their ancestors walked on. For Bob Francis, it’s a
                                                                   new life after 21 years of mayoral office. For Derrick Field,
                                                                   it’s a centre of learning:“A place where we’ll encourage
                                                                   people to come and learn about mainland restoration
                                                                   – a centre for research.”
                                                                   For the people that pull off SH 2, it’s a chance to hear
                                                                   that chorus again, lost to five generations.And an encore
                                                                   by our namesake, our national likeness. Pukaha is
                                                                   reaquainting us with our kiwi.



24
                                      What you can do to help
                                                There are many simple ways you can help to save the
                                                kiwi. It does not matter if you live in a major urban
                                                centre or in a rural area – we can all do our bit.
                                                • Keep your dog under control, especially at night
                                                • Avoid taking dogs into kiwi areas
                                                • Do not dump unwanted pets (dogs, cats or ferrets)
                                                  in the bush. Give them to the SPCA to give them a
                                                  real chance, or humanely have them put down by a
                                                  vet
                                                • Report roaming dogs in kiwi areas
                                                • Trap predators
                                                • Fence off kiwi habitat
                                                • Put a kiwi escape ramp in cattle stops
                                                • Learn to recognise kiwi calls and report what you
                                                  hear
                                                • Covenant bush patches to protect them forever
                                                • Manage a kiwi-friendly plantation forest
                                                • Drive carefully at night and watch for kiwi on roads
                                                • Volunteer your time and energy to local kiwi
                                                  projects
                                                • Visit the Bank of New Zealand Save The Kiwi website
                                                  and make an on-line credit card donation
                                                • If you are a Bank of New Zealand customer, you can
                                                  choose a Save The Kiwi Eftpos card and a $10 annual
                                                  donation will be automatically deducted from your
                                                  account
                                                • You can also choose to have a Save The Kiwi
                                                  cheque book. Each time a cheque book is issued,
                                                  a $4 donation is automatically deducted from your
                                                  account. All donations go directly to Bank of New
                                                  Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust and are allocated to
                                                  kiwi projects
                                                • Make a donation at any Bank of New Zealand branch
                                                  or via a Bank of New Zealand ATM machine
                                                • Learn more about kiwi by visiting DOC or Bank of
                                                  New Zealand Save The Kiwi Trust websites: www.
                                                  doc.govt.nz, www.savethekiwi.org
Photos: Willowbank Wildlife Reserve




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