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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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December 12th, 2019

2019 November update

Thanks to all the folks that took part in our annual celebration of all the great work going on in the Whangarei Heads area

at the Community Conservation Crew Christmas Celebration BBQ, over 15 groups and agencies were there to update and inspire us all on their year’s highlights and enjoy the evening hosted by Backyard Kiwi.

Community celebrate another great year

With the holidays coming up please politely remind any visitors to control their dogs – keep them on a lead!! Our kiwi are very vulnerable to dogs and visitors often don’t realise that the kiwi are everywhere at the Heads – even in the roadside pampas. With the extra dry conditions at the moment kiwi are out longer and travelling further than usual to feed so are even more likely to come across any uncontrolled dog.

Kiwi Coast Trappers’ Workshops  

Ngaire and I ran a well attended work shop on possums and rats for the Kiwi Link area a few weeks back – folks sharpened their trapping skills and the feedback about improved possum catches has been good. If you want a copy of the summary of the possum trapping tips let me know.

I also presented on predator trapping, the secondary poisoning benefits of 1080 and the need for dog control for kiwi recovery at a Piroa-Brynderwyns Landcare event to promote the kiwi recovery work going on there.

Whangarei District Council   

The WDC planners asked to be updated on community driven kiwi recovery and the need for dog free subdivisions so Ngaire and I presented at their recently monthly meeting.  We emphasised their own legal requirement of dog free subdivisions in high kiwi density areas and the inappropriateness  of kiwi aversion training for pet dogs in these areas.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program :

As expected the juvenile stoats have started turning up as they disperse from higher stoat areas. This month the NRC contracted Emma Craig to carry out an independent audit of the quality of our predator trapping network and she was happy with what she found.

November predator trap catches:  Stoats 2, Weasels 3, Cats 2, Rats 71, Hedgehogs 10 and 2 possums.

What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:

The first round of nesting has finished and the dry conditions are limiting any further breeding for most kiwi pairs :

  • Darwin – At Lamb road, after successfully hatching two chicks he was still on his nest after 94 days on 5/11/19 near the Manaia Excavators  yard.  Parua Bay School’s year 3 & 4s named one chick “Oketopa” (October his hatch month) and the juniors have named the second chick “DJ”.
  • Whitu – Feeding up near the freezing works after hatching two chicks. The Onerahi and Whangarei Heads Lions have named one “Raiona” and Opticmix who print our Kiwi Prints have named the other “Kara”.
  • Moa – Still no signal, I will keep looking and listening.
  • EB – In pampas opposite houses on Kerr road. No sign of nesting – activity 10 hours.
  • Pakipaki – In pampas  in the horse paddock at McLeod Bay, 9 hours nightly activity.
  • Ross  – Still back at the top end of Pepi road. Activity 10 hours.
  • Harikoa – Still in wetland  NE end of Campbell road, 9 hours activity.
  • Wally – Usual area pines at the end of Campbell Road. He has bucked the trend and has started a second nest (presumably with Mokopuna) He was 16 days in on 25/11/19 with a good low nesting activity of 3 hours.

2019 Releases   

  • Teina – still in the young pine block east of Owhiwa road (Kelly Martin’s dog free property that has had a long term predator trapping program – so a good place to be), 10 hours activity.
  • Malaika –  Still in the Taraunui Road/Ross Road area, 9 hours activity- located her in a wetland beside a landowners’ shed on a 50 ha dog free property- also a good place to make a kiwi home.
  • Pakiri –  the mortality signal from last month proved correct.  Cam McInnes, Tony Dwane and I had a bit for trouble locating Pakiri in the Whanui pines at the end of Taraunui rd and when we finally tracked him down he was long dead. The bones showed serious injuries typical of a dog kill but may have also happened after death if the body was scavenged by a dog or pig (see pic). see Pakiri’s story:
  • Awhi- She is still in the wetland on Campbell rd near to Harikoa. Activity is 9 hours.

Pakiri’s remains

Nicks nest



(ONE dads monitoring funded by Kiwis for Kiwi)

Chicks from the first round of nesting have hatched and when  old enough (10 days plus)  transferred to FOMLI managed Limestone Island creche to grow up for the public kiwi releases we have for engagement in the Whangarei area.

  • Ngutu Roa – Finished nesting, 9 hours nightly activity, usual area SW reserve
  • Sancho – Finished nesting, 9 hours activity, usual area NE reserve.
  • Kimposter – His data stream had shown a very quick re-nest but his activity rose to 9.5 hours after only 21 days so it looks like either he didn’t re-nest or the nest has failed early. I will check on my next visit.
  • Nick – Successfully hatched two chicks. LC 1906 transferred on 15/11/19 and LC 1907 on 22/11/19. Dad was in reasonable condition after nesting at 2100g and has a new transmitter band .
  • Ngaro –  95 days nesting 6/11/19, hatched 2nd chick (LC 1905)-transferred to Limestone
  • Te Orewai, when I found Te Orewai in rank kikuya back in July I attached a transmitter hoping he was a male but his bill length of 116 mm meant this was only an outside chance (120 mm is the division between sexs). I recently caught up with her – she is obviously a growing female and not a mature male as the bill was now 121.6mm. So I removed her transmitter.
  • Moeahu – NE end of reserve 10 hours activity so still not nesting

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Christmas

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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