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Thanks to an active intervention program, at Whangarei Heads we really do have kiwi in our backyard.

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Annual kiwi call count

WE have cracked 1000 kiwi!!!
After a couple of tough years for carrying out kiwi counts we got a good year for counting with a good kiwi breeding season (wet enough to give reasonable feeding conditions) meaning the kiwi were calling hard during the listening period. There were some good calm patches of weather that made for good listening conditions at most sites to hear these calls. It is great to have the right conditions to count kiwi so we can have a reasonable measure of the effectiveness of the Kiwi Recovery work being done at the Heads. The results show that good stoat control, through quality trapping and 1080 toxin (Kiwi Saver) pulses, is giving good kiwi chick survival and above all else shows the responsible dog control by the vast majority of our community.

During the Annual Kiwi Call Count, kiwi calls are recorded and collated giving us useful data on the local kiwi population. Every year, hundreds of volunteers throughout New Zealand brave the chilly nights of autumn, sit in the dark, and listen for kiwi calls. They must listen at these ‘stations’ for 2 hours each night, for a total of four nights during the annual kiwi call count. This usually occurs during May or June, depending on when the dark phase of the moon takes place at the peak of the kiwi mating season.

Listening stations are assigned and are revisited every year, in order to document differences in the number of calls that are heard from year to year.

Summary of this year’s listening for each station giving M and F calls, and the actual number of M and F kiwi estimated at each site by using the directional sheets.


See how call numbers have steadily increased over the past 17 years of monitoring
WHLF kiwi call count 2002 to 2021 summary

If you’ve got good hearing and a bit of patience and don’t mind the cold – this could be just the job for you!

Contact us at info@backyardkiwi.org for details.

WHANGAREI HEADS LANDCARE FORUM