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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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November 30th, 2018

2018 November update

My next report will be after Xmas – so hope that you all have a good one!
Thanks heaps for all your efforts and support of Backyard Kiwi in 2018 – they do make a positive difference!

“Take the Lead”

To coincide with the video premiere you would have seen the new signs – thanks to Martin’s construction skills and Bill for digging the holes.  We are hoping this will make visitors more aware of the need for responsible dog control  learn more about the Take the Lead initiative 

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Programme :

Catches in the predator remain low for this time of year- the 1080 has definitely made a big difference:

October: Stoats 0, Weasels 1, Cats 12, Rats 63, Hedgehogs 10 and 16 possums.

Kiwi chick on Manganese point beach

Locals found a dead kiwi chick on the beach on the western side of the peninsula. It was quite rotten but still intact- it was only 10-20 days old and weighed 300g and had no ID chip.  It may have floated there from the Nook or even Limestone Island but may have been locally hatched – which would be big news as kiwi have not been known at Manganese point for many years.  So if you live down that way keep an extra ear out for kiwi calling and please let us know if you hear any,

Kiwi nest gets mowed

The kiwi in the nest on the bank mowed by the roadside mower is still hanging tight after 30 days.

What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:

  • Darwin – At Lamb road, he has re-nested in the pampas at the quarry – 14 days in on 23/11/18 and 3.5 hours activity.
  • Lambert – Has re-nested too. 37 days on 23/11/18 so hatch due around Xmas day.  Activity is up to 4.5 hours at the moment, which is a bit high for good nesting.
  • Whitu – Also re-nested, in pampas at the freezing works. 46 days on 19/11/18, 1.5 hours activity.
  • EB – In pampas at Kerr rd. Activity still high at 9 hours.
  • Pakipaki – After 18 months in McLeod Bay she moved over to Taurikura by the School in October –This month she returned to the pampas by the Manaia Club.
  • Ross  – He has now spent the last 6 months in the area just inland from Solomon’s point, further up Pepi road now. I caught up with him for his 6 monthly band change.  He has fattened up to 2450g (he was 2300g on release in March and 2100g at check in May). His bill has stopped growing at 98.7mm so he is now fully grown and in ready to get on with breeding.

    2018 Ross November 

  •  Harikoa –Has crossed the creek to bush next to Lamb road quarry.
  •  Wally and Mokopuna – This new couple have got on with things and Wally is 79 days nesting today – so hatch is definitely due.   Moko is nearby.

ONE program (funded by Kiwis for Kiwi):


14 chicks have successfully been transfer to Limestone from the first round of nesting and the second round is underway.

  • The Acrobat – Usual area in Lovell’s fenced bush. He has finished nesting and produced 1 chick –LC 1814. Dad was down to 1950g after nesting. I removed his transmitter as we are rotating into new dads this season to keep good genetic variability.
  • Waimarie – no signal this month.
  • Sancho- still hasn’t re-nested – 10 hours activity NE end of reserve..
  • CFU – 9 hours activity- usual area in paddock S of reserve
  • Nick – Has renested  in lovell’s bush -14 days on 13/11/18..
  • Matarakau- 9.5 hours activity, south of airstrip.
  • Ngaro -above the airstrip, has started nesting 9 days 13/11/18, 5.5 hours activity.


The Whangarei Heads High Value Area (formerly the WH Pest Management Working Group) met on 14/11/18 for updates of BYK and Weed Action work. Rolf Fuchs is now our NRC Liaison person – we have worked closely with Rolf in his previous roll at Doc so are very pleased to have Rolf working with us. Kane McElrea is now overseeing the multiple high values area of Northland. Jo Barr is now also with NRC and overseeing Weed Action for wider Northland and welcome to Kelly Maxwell to the role of WH Weed Action coordinator.

The Northland Kiwi Forum met on 22/11/18 to cover Northland wide kiwi issues including ongoing genetic work,  and advice to Doc of the need to increase their staff time from the current very low levels on kiwi.

The Kiwi Coast Think Tank met yesterday on site at the Hutching’s farm in the Puketotara Landcare group to check out the predator trapping and 1080 pulse going on there with very good success. Thanks to Jane Hutchings and Andy Mentor for hosting us.


Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385




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