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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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January 4th, 2018

2017 December Update

2017 has been another busy and successful year for Backyard Kiwi.

Our trapping programmed, backed up by a controlled 1080 pulse, is giving our kiwi chicks good protection. Kiwi listening data shows that our kiwi population continues to grow at 10% annually with this year’s count at 880 kiwi. Local dog owners continue to show good dog control minimising the impact of dogs on the kiwi population – with the holidays on us please make sure any visitors either leave their dogs at home or are extremely careful with them visiting the Heads!!! With conditions being very dry there will be more kiwi out feeding for longer and in a wider than usual area so there is a higher than usual chance of an uncontrolled dog coming across a kiwi and killing it.

Thank you Foundation North and Northland Regional Council – We have received funding from these organisations to help produce a pilot series of short videos telling the Backyard Kiwi story. Heather is finalising the details for filming to be done late January.

We have a kiwi release planned for Sunday March 11, so put that on the calendar and let you family and mates know about it – it will be late afternoon, more details next month.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Programme:

Catches for December  in the predator traps:

Stoats 3, Weasels 1, Cats 0, Rats 53, Hedgehogs 4 and 8 possums.

This is the time of year that juvenile stoats leave their mother and disperse, without our stoat control programme these rascals would be slaying our kiwi chicks at the moment. All 3 stoats caught this month were in traps at the edge of our managed area.

Kiwi happenings

The kiwi dads are into their second round of nesting.

What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:

  • Darwin – At the Lamb road quarry. He is well into his second nest- 27days down today, activity is less than 3 hours per night. Hatch is due late
  • Lambert – Usual area at Taurikura Ridge. He has just about finished his second nest- 82 days today and 3.5 hours activity- hatch should be in next few days.
  • Whitu – The mercury switch in his transmitter failed so I was unable to monitor his nesting behaviour and had to wait until he had finished nesting before replacing his transmitter. His nest successfully hatched 1 chick (we have named him Harvey after the late Harvey Gadd who was a key Mt Aubrey Landcare member).  A trail camera got some good video of young Harvey before he left the nest. Even after nesting in dry conditions Whitu was a healthy 200g in weight.
  • EB – Nesting again in the pampas at Kerr road. 4 hours nightly activity. Hatch due early next month.
  • Pakipaki – He/she has moved back to the pampas in the Horse paddock opposite the Fire station. 9.5 hours activity.
  • Dudin – Still no signal from this guy – looking more and more like transmitter failure.

ONE program (funded by Kiwis for Kiwi):


Only the Boxer has re-nested at the moment and the dry conditions will probably reduce any other nesting. If it rains on your holiday at least the kiwi will be happy!

  • The Acrobat – Usual area in Lovell’s fenced bush. Still no sign of nesting.
  • Waimarie – Not nesting. 8.5 hours activity. Usual area Lovell’s bush.
  • Ngutu Roa – Not nesting, high activity.
  • Sancho – Not nesting, 9 hours, usual area Lovell’s bush.
  • CFU -Maybe starting to nest – activity down to 8 hours. Paddock south of reserve
  • Ray – Usual area by slip. High activity 10 hours..
  • The Boxer – Usual area W end of reserve. On second nest, 4.5 hours at day 25. Hatch due late Jan.


Hope everyone has a fun and safe Christmas and New Year


Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385



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