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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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September 9th, 2020

2020 August report

Nesting underway finally  

After two years of extremely dry weather the kiwi breeding season is finally well underway with the winter rain.  5 of the 8 monitored kiwi ONE dads are nesting.  At the Heads the reliable nesters are well into their 90 day stints with Whitu about 61 days in and Wally 55 days.  New boys Ross and Teina are still not nesting with their nightly activity more than 11 hours.  It will be a red letter day when either of these guys start nesting as they are well inland, at Pepi and Owhiwa Road, from where we have monitored any nesting in the past.

Two more kiwi road killed

Following on from last month’s road kill two more young kiwi have been hit.  On the foggy morning of 5/8/20 a young kiwi of 1200g was hit. The BYK facebook post of this was picked up by the media and got a lot of coverage.  Then on 26/8/20 at young 930g kiwi got hit on Reotahi Road. Like last month’s kill both these kiwi were wild hatched (no ID chip) and despite the drought conditions of the summer and autumn had got themselves to the sub-adult stage.  This is a credit to their resilience and the effectiveness of our stoat control. These young kiwi seem particularly vulnerable to traffic as they use the roads at night to move about looking for new territory.



Awhi settled After being a rugby and pub fan she has finally settled on life beside the Pataua Estuary. Awhi was released at Parua Bay in February 2019. She has travelled far and wide since then – first around the Parua Bay rugby field area then west to the Kohinui Valley (up from the pub) for a few months, then back to the Parua Bay release area, over the creek a few times to Lamb road before heading down to “Harikoa’s” wetland at the NE end of Campbell road.  She stayed there for 6 months before heading north to the very end of Campbell road just before lockdown and has settling on the estuary edge. Locals there have been hearing a male kiwi calling and with Awhi now 5 years old she should be setting up her permanent home territory with him (hopefully for the next 50 years). Now that she has settled I have let her transmitter fall off (the band is designed to wear out). Kia kaha Awhi (see pic).

“Kiwi Link” proved again

Malaiaka was also released at Parua Bay back in February 2019. She has spent time at Ross Road and Owhiwa Road before deciding to head further north. She is now past the end of Taraunui Road in the Hancock’s Whanui pine block.  Previously Pakiri and Jemima have also made this trip north. Thanks for all the hard work on predator and dog control by the folks in the “Kiwi Link” area making Malaika’s travels safe.

Parua Bay School Visit

I was invited to Parua Bay School to talk to their fantastic Enviro Club kids about kiwi and trapping. I also had a session with the Junior classes about looking after their kiwi.  Heather  visited again recently too and had a reading of her kiwi books. These kids and teachers are amazing and the take the future of their kiwi very seriously!

The Northland Kiwi Forum

The Northland Kiwi Forum has fired up again after a break of 18 months with a NKF Working Group meeting last month and another coming up later this month to catch up on a backlog of work.   The NKF is a platform for agencies such as DoC, NRC, District councils, Kiwi Coast, Kiwis for Kiwi to work with Iwi, industry and community groups on kiwi matters.  I’m the Whangarei community groups rep at these meetings and someone from each of the local kiwi groups should have already got an email from me with the agenda seeking any input. If you don’t think your group has had that email please let me know.

 Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program :

Catches are low as is expected for this time of year.
August catches in the predator trapping network: 0 stoats, 1 weasel, 4 cats, 50 rats, 8 hedgehogs and 1 possum.

As trapping alone does not keep on top of the stoats in the long run controlled ground based toxin pulses are essential on strategic land blocks at the Heads.  The Bream Head Conservation Trust have just completed a toxin pulse at Bream Head. Martin Hunt is busy organising the Manaia Landcare pulse at Manaia for next month and this along with the controlled brodifacoum pulses carried out by some private landowners this spring should be dealing with the untrappable stoats in the area.  The combination of trapping and strategic secondary poisoning pulses has proved to be very successful for us.

What your radio tracked Backyard Kiwi have been up to:

Whangarei Heads.

Ross – After the flooding he has remained up the high end of the valley at Pepi rd.  11.5 hours nightly activity.

Hancock – Her transmitter continued to play up with the data stream showing very little activity when she is moving quite big distances each night ( 500m or more each night between Kohinui Valley and Kerry Martin’s pine block either side of Owhiwa Road).  The transmitter may have now failed with no signal since 4/8/20 even with wide and repeated searches.

Teina – Still settled in Owhiwa Road pine block.  11 hours nightly activity. He must start breeding soon!

Malaika Bounced around after the flooding in the Owhiwa road pine block and then disappeared for a few weeks. Finally got a signal for her way North of her usual area. She has walked across the Kiwi Link to the pines at the end of Taraunui rd (as Pakiri and Jemima have done previously).  I have let Cam and PNLC know her details so hopeful they can continue to monitor her over their way.  12 hours activity.

Beach Girl – This is one of the kiwi from the autumn rescue from Motoroa Island. She seems well settled safely at the Plants’ place on Taraunui Road. She was in pampas 100m from where I released her back in May. 2700g (cf 1650g in May), good condition (see pic), 10.5 hours activity.

Beach Girl

Awhi – She has spent the last 6 months settled on the estuary edge at the end of Campbell Road with landowners hearing a male call there too.  As she seems well settled and is an adult now so I left her transmitter to fall off. I have visited the landowners in the area and they are very pleased to have her settle there and will keep me updated on her calling.

Wally – Nesting – 48 days in on 31/8/20, activity 3.5 hours. In the pampas area he has previously used for nesting at the end of Campbell Road (see pic).

Harikoa – In usual area of wetland/pines at the NE end of Campbell Road. 12 hours activity.

Pakipaki – Usual area in pampas/pines in the McLeod Bay Horse Paddock.

Whitu –  Nesting 20 days in on 30/7/20, east of the freezing works, 3.5 hours activity.

Rarewarewa/Purua- ONE Dads

The boys are starting to get into nesting finally.

Kimposter’s nest

Gorgeous – 
Nesting 47 days on 20/8/20, 4 hours activity. In paddock burrow – south side of  Hawkin’s hill.

Kimposter – In the root of the “impossible” tree . Looks like he is two team nesting.  Data stream shows 34 days on 24/8/20 but he has been there a month longer than that so I will check for hatch again soon. 4 hours activity.

Nick – Usual area Lovell’s bush, Nesting 11 days 12/8/20 (see pic), 5 hours activity.

Moeahu – Near the peak above the quarry. 12.5 hours activity.

Sancho – In paddock north of quarry. 11.5 hours activity.

Ngutu roa – Usual area SW reserve. Nesting 4 days 24/8/20, 5.5 hours activity.

Ngaro – Usual area above the airstrip, 11.5 hours activity.

Moondust (named by Purua School – thanks Julia)- Nesting in paddock burrow up the gut behind the Irvine Road woolshed. Nesting 13 days on 24/8/20, 2.5 hours activity.




Cheers Todd


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