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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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October 12th, 2021

2021-September Report

Spring is a busy time in the kiwi world

Spring is busy with dads nesting hard and chicks hatching. Female stoats have their litters in September and they will be growing and getting ready to disperse in the next few months so stoat control is crucial.  Thanks to Martin and his team the Kiwi Saver (1080) bait station pulse got done on Manaia despite a few breaks for lockdowns.  This controlled toxin pulse kills almost 100% of the stoats in the area via the poisoned rats.  Without a Kiwi Saver pulse trap shy stoats would have a huge negative impact. Our trapping network in the wider landscape is still crucial in complementing the toxin pulses and the combination gives good protection. Without a Kiwi Saver pulse trap shy stoats would have a huge negative impact. Unfortunately those areas using trapping alone for long periods become unsafe for kiwi chicks.

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program:

Trap catches for September: 1 stoat, 1 weasel, 2 cats, 119 rats, 5 hedgehogs, 7 possums.

With the importance of stoat trapping in the spring we changed from eggs to quality salted rabbit as a lure because of its better effectiveness.

Campbell Road Landcare

Campbell Road Landcare is underway and we had a pest control training workshop a couple of Sundays ago.   A good turnout of locals went home with a few more tips and tricks to improve their possum and rat control. Thanks to Ngaire Sullivan of Kiwi Coast and James Bellamy of CRLC for organising the workshop.

Xmass Do

December the 10th from 5pm at McLeods Bay Hall – put the date on the calendar for the combined  Whangarei Heads conservation groups Xmas do. They are always great fun and a good way to catch up with other Landcare groups. BHCT are hosting this year. More details closer to the date.

Northland Kiwi Taxon Plan

This is the strategic plan for the combined effort for kiwi recovery in Northland produced back in 2010 see Kiwi Coast  The Northland Kiwi Forum Working Group has started the review and update of this plan.  If you would like input into that process please let me know.

What your kiwi have been up to:

Dead adult female

Locals found a long dead adult female kiwi next to their driveway on Ody Road. She had no ID chip so is a local hatched and grown and was at prime breeding age (see pic). Hopefully x-rays can show the potential cause of death. I have visited nearby properties with dogs to reinforce dog control. WDC dog control are also following up on reported uncontrolled dogs in a couple of other places at the Heads. If you see an uncontrolled dog please call Dog Control on 09 4304200.

 Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi:   

Wally’s spring chick

Wally’s nest

  • Chookie– He and Malaika are back closer together and his activity has dropped to 6.5 hours so he may be trying to nest again. Hopefully he will get the hang of things. He is on an old slip face in a patch of native on Martins’ block Owhiwa road.  I will check again this week if he has settled to nest there.
  • Valentine – She is moving around the Martins’ pine block Owhiwa road and has been hard to find at times.  11 hours nightly activity.
  • Ross– Still in the valley at the top end of Pepi road.  10.5 hours nightly activity – no sign of nesting.
  • Teina–  Still doesn’t seem to be interested in breeding. 10.5 hours nightly average. Usual area at North end of the Martins’ block.
  • Malaika– She has moved back towards Chookie – only 100m or so away from him. Her activity dropped to 6 hours mid-month before returning to 10 hours so she may have nested with him?
  • Beach Girl – Has moved slightly north back into the recently logged area on Ross road. 9 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally– Hatched his first chick after 70 days nesting, I checked the nest at day 89 and found a stroppy 19 day old chick –315g, 48.0mm and inserted ID chip 007BC6E48 (now named Kowhai by the recently formed Campbell Road Landcare Group – Wally was the catalyst for the group formation). Wally was still on a second egg then and he continued to incubate it for at least another week. I checked at day 101 and he had moved on as the second egg was rotten, but his data stream was still showing continued incubation even though he was in a different pampas patch 100m south of the first nest – he may have gone straight from one nest to another, he did something similar last year. He will end up nesting for over 6 months straight at this rate!
  • Pakipaki– In the pampas and gorse in the McLeod Bay Horse Paddock, 10 hrs activity.

Rarewarewa/Purua – ONE dads’ 

Chicks have started to hatch and the first for the season (LC 2101) has been transferred to Matakohoe/Limestone Island as part of program that provides the kiwi for our Whangarei Kiwi Engagement releases:

 Nanakia’s chick and Jo from Matakohe Island 

LC 2101- Nanakia’s chick

  • Nick– Nesting in his usual area in Lovells’ Bush.  Julz reported a spike in activity and chick hatch indication in the data stream on 16/9/21. I checked him on 18/9/21 at 72 days and in theory 8 days after hatch but only found a dead rotten egg at the front of his nest and him back to low activity. Re-checked 27/9/21- at 81 days, data stream on double beep (this usually means that he has finished nesting), but he is still incubating the second egg with 4 hours nightly activity.
  • Sancho– Nesting NE end of the reserve.  27/9/21 check; 42 days nesting and 3.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Kimposter –  Last signal heard on 5/8/21- nesting 10 days at that stage in his usual area. No signal since. Julz and I have both had multiple searches so presume transmitter failure. His transmitter was from the same batch as Ngaro’s which also failed so the crystals may have been damaged in transit?
  • Ngutu roa – West of the big slip, on the south side of the reserve. Nesting 47 days and 4 hours activity on 27/9/21.
  • Ngaro–  No signal for last 3 months.
  • Moondust– Nesting behind the woolshed, 71 days and 4.5 hours nightly activity on 27/9/21.
  • Gorgeous – He was nesting on the South side of Hawkins’ Hill.  42 days in on 5/8/21 and 4.5 hours nightly activity. But the nest failed some time shortly after that. I did his band change; he is still in very good condition and 2150g. This is his 3rd nest failure in a row. His paddock nest burrows are in volcanic soil, which are great in dry conditions but they end up wet and muddy in these wetter conditions, which isn’t the best for incubating eggs. Pampas is heaps better for nesting in!
  • Nanakia– Nesting in Lovells’ bush next to the logged pine area. 81 days in on 27/9/21, 3.5 hours activity, data showing hatch at 71 days. Carefully got chick, dad still on second egg.  Chick the first of the season: LC 2101, 275g, 43.5mm stage 4, transferred to Jo’s safe hands on Matakohoe/Limestone.

Keep safe and encourage vaccination

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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