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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 8th, 2019

2019 October Update

Community Conservation Crew Christmas Celebration

Remember the 3rd annual “Whangarei Heads Community Conservation Crew Christmas Celebration” – Friday November 29 at the McLeod Bay Hall – 5.30pm.

All welcome!!  Anyone or any group from the wider Heads area.  Backyard Kiwi’s turn to organise and supply the sausages so please let me know if you are coming.

Let’s celebrate all the good stuff that is happening here – Like great Kiwi dads sitting it out to safely hatch their chicks

Whitu’s spring chicks

NZ Resource Managers Conference

Northland hosted this year’s NZARM conference in the Bay of Islands and I was invited to be their conference diner speaker – a bit different to talking in a paddock about kiwi recovery but it seemed to go down pretty well. I emphasised that the success of kiwi recovery at the Heads, and in wider Northland, is community driven and is all about the engagement of our communities with their kiwi.

‘Kiwi Link Trappers’ Workshop  

Ngaire and I are running a possum and rat control workshop for the Kiwi Link area on Sunday 17 November

Whangarei Heads Weed Action working bees   

Kelly from weed action is organising weed control working bees for the summer. The next one is November 9 Waitangata stream reserve (1st bridge on Pataua South Road)

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Programme :

As expected the stoat season has got underway, 4 big males stoats trapped for the month, the juveniles will be leaving their mother’s protection shortly and dispersing so there will plenty more to come. But not as many as there could be thanks to the controlled pulse of 1080 and brodificaoum in bait stations this spring on some private blocks that will be cleaning up the trap shy stoats – this is a crucial part of our stoat control, especially with all the kiwi chicks hatching at the moment

October predator trap catches:   Stoats 4, Weasels 2, Cats 0, Rats 118, Hedgehogs 13 and 6 possums.

118 rats is a massive month of rat catches (58 rats were caught in October 2018).

Please don’t Drown your kiwi
Stock troughs, fishponds, irrigation dams, water wells have all drowned kiwi at the Heads. Recently a drowned adult male (no ID chip so he was wild hatched and had survived to adulthood thanks to stoat and dog control) was found in a life style block’s horse trough. If a kiwi can get into a trough or pond he can swim for a while but if the sides are too steep or slippery he can’t get out and eventually drowns. If you trough or pond is at ground level either raise it or cover it and but a ‘stair case’ of rocks or bricks in it so the kiwi can climb out. Old enamel baths sunk in the ground and used for lifestyle stock are death traps for not only kiwi but lambs too.

What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:

Despite the dry conditions there have been plenty of kiwi chicks hatching – hopefully some promised rain will help give them better feeding conditions to start their lives.:

  • Darwin – At Lamb road, successfully hatched two chicks on east side of Manaia Excavators  truck and digger yard.  Chicks ID chipped and DNA sampled on 18/10/19 – Parua Bay School is naming them (see photo). Dad was 1880g after 80 days of nesting and has new tx band.
  • Whitu – Frank got his data stream daily for over a month after his first hatch was shown by the radio signal before his activity started to rise and it was safe to check the nest. I checked the nest on 23/10/19 after 102 days of nesting and he had successfully hatched two chicks . The Onerahi and Whangarei Heads Lions have named one “Raiona” and the other chick has been named “Kara” (colour) by Opticmix who print our unique fine art Kiwi Prints.        Thank you for your support.

Onerahi Lions club

 “Kiwi Mates” printed by Opticmix

  • Moa – After successfully finishing his nest last month I have had his signal once and then he has dropped off the radar – will keep looking.
  • EB – In pampas opposite houses on Kerr road. No sign of nesting – activity 10 hours.

searching for Pakipaki

Pakipaki with Jack Hamilton

  • Pakipaki – In pampas in the horse paddock at McLeod Bay, Jack helped me catch her for her transmitter change 2/10/19, she was a healthy 2300g.
  • Ross – Still back at the top end of Pepi road. Activity 11 hours.
  • Wally – Usual area pines at the end of Campbell Road. Activity 10.5 hours feeding up after nesting.
  • Harikoa – Still in wetland NE end of Campbell road, 10 hours activity. Carl from Pataua North LC did supervised kiwi handling training for her transmitter change. Bill length was 135.0mm and weight  2350g.

2019 Releases   

  • Teina – Still in the young pine block east of Owhiwa road, 10 hours activity. A kiwi was seen further up Owhiwa road at night, I checked Teina’s location the next day and he was still in the pine block so it is unlikely to be him – more good news for Kiwi Link.
  • Malaika – Still in the Taraunui Road/Ross Road area, 11 hours activity – as she moves around I’m meeting new landowners that are excited to have her in their patch.
  • Pakiri – after no signal last month Carl from PNLC has located him further north in the Hancock Pines at the very end of Taraunui rd. He got a mortality signal but his data stream still shows activity of over 11 hours per night.  Tony of Hancock’s Forestry is organising access so we can monitor him/her.  Plan is for him to become a monitored kiwi for Kiwi Link to publicise in the area.
  • Awhi – She is still in wetland  on Campbell rd near to Harikoa. Activity is 9 hours.


(ONE dads monitoring funded by Kiwis for Kiwi)
Chicks from the first round of nesting are hatching and when they are  old enough (10 days plus) they are 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 –  82 days nesting on 28/10/19, had hatched 1 chick (LC 1903) transferred to Limestone, second egg rotten
  • Sancho – 88 days nesting on 28/10/19. Single chick (LC 1902) transferred, no second egg.
  • Kimposter – 80 days nesting on 17/10/19 hatched 1 chick (LC 1901) transferred, second egg rotten. His data stream shows that he has re-nest already on 28/10/19 40m down hill from tree nest.
  • Nick – 67 days nesting 28/10/19 and 100 mins activity – hopefully a chick or 2 to hatch soon.
  • Ngaro –  82 days nesting 28/10/19, hatched 1st chick (LC 1904)-transferred to Limestone
  • Te Orewai – the radio data stream shows that he hasn’t nested yet, 11 hours activity in Lovell’s bush block.
  • Moeahu – NE end of reserve 10.5 hours activity so still not nesting

Tutukaka Landcare Kiwi Release 

On the Friday before Labour weekend we had a busy but very successful day transferring and releasing 4 sub adult and adult female kiwi in the Tutukaka Landcare area. They were Sarah, Kiaora, Prudence and Pikiake (the first kiwi to be name in sign language, who was named in a special ceremony by Freddy Tito)The FOMLI naming ceremony got Māori TV coverage and 80 people attended. We then visited Glenbervie School before the TLC release event where once again locals got the strong message that if they want kiwi in their backyards. their dogs must be kept away from kiwi, tied up and walked appropriately on a lead. Thanks for the big team effort.


Cheers Todd


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