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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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March 7th, 2022

2022 – February Report

Local dogs wandering!

After praising our summer visitors last month for their good dog control I have had to growl some local dog owners this month for letting their dogs wander.  Thanks to those folks that helped us locate one dog’s home after he had wandered over 6km when he slipped his collar.

Whangarei Predator Free Possum program

PFW have been installing possum trap and bait station networks at the southern end of the peninsula. Ahead of these going live trail cameras have been used to check on possum numbers. As reported last month the good news is the high number of kiwi turning up on these cameras reinforcing the data from our kiwi call counts.  The bad news has been that young stoats have also been turning up on the cameras, first in Bream Head and now further north in Taurikura ridge as they disperse. These young stoats are an indicator of trap shy stoat mums so putting more traps in is unlikely to solve the problem.  WPF plans to use a controlled pulse of brodifacoum in appropriate places to remove the possums, this will have the added benefit of cleaning out rats and stoats (especially any trap shy ones!).

Backyard Kiwi Predator Control Program:

Still a few young stoats turning up elsewhere in the predator trap network as they disperse. Kauri Mt has been a real hotspot so there is likely to be trap shy stoat mums there that will need a toxin pulse to remove them.

February catches: Stoats 4, Weasels 2, Cat 2, Rats 65, Hedgehogs 8, Possums 7.

What your kiwi have been up to:


Malaika’s claw

Even with things drying up there are still plenty of invertebrates about for the kiwi, especially in the rank pasture areas in paddocks. Unfortunately a young male kiwi of 1200g was recently killed by a tractor slashing gorse and rank kikuya . 1200g is stoat proof size for a growing kiwi so this is a good indicator of the effectiveness of the of the kiwi saver (1080) pulse this spring on nearby Manaia cleaning out stoats.

 Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi:

  • Chookie – In the pampas and young pines between Owhiwa road and Martins’ hut. We caught up with him for his annual radio transmitter change. He was a healthy 2000g and looking good – see pic of him with landowner Kerry Martin who works hard to trap and keep dogs off his family’s large forestry block so the kiwi there can flourish.
  • Malaika – Also caught up with this girl recently, she was only 100m from where Chookie was and is potentially his mate. She was looking ok but a bit down on condition at 1800g- possibly because of laying multiple eggs this season. Her claws have always been long but with walking around on soft pine needles they are getting longer all the time
  • Valentine- She is still settled in a valley on the NE area of the Martins’ pine block between Owhiwa and Ross Roads.   In dense pampas and gorse. 8.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Ross –Is in his usual area west of Pepi Road.  10 hours nightly activity. Pepi has remained in a similar area to Ross but they are not as close together as previously. Pepi had 10 hours nightly activity too.
  • Teina – Still doesn’t seem to be interested in breeding. 9 hours nightly average. Usual area at N end of the Martins’ block.
  • Beach Girl – Has headed over the ridge towards Ross road and is in a patch of native bush there. 10 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally –Wally is down by the estuary edge at the end of Campbell road and has a nightly activity of 10 hours
  • Pakipaki – Has moved from the Horse paddock to her old haunt of the pampas below the Manaia Club. If you are having a beer there keep an ear out for her calling. Nightly activity of 9 hours.


Nanakia in his burrow


View from Nanakia’s burrow

  • Nick – In his usual area in Lovells’ Bush. 10 hours nightly activity.
  • Sancho – Had been nesting 104 days on 21/2/22, and his data stream indicated a hatch 5 days previously. His activity was still a low 140 minutes and his nest is in a weeded patch that makes it difficult to approach so I left him be for a bit longer.  I did find his mate – female kiwi leg band R62623 in a shallow burrow in the paddock below the nest. She isn’t radio transmittered. She was a healthy 2500g, good to catch up with her.
  • Ngutu roa – Usual area SW reserve, 10 hours activity.
  • Moondust  – usual area behind woolshed  – 11 hours nightly activity.
  • Gorgeous-  He is feeding up in the paddock on the south side of Hawkins’ Hill. 9 hours activity.
  • Nanakia – In the area of recently harvested and replant pines. He was in a patch of pine slash (see pic) and the view from his roost also. This is prime kiwi country with a good mix of habitats (and predator trapping/1080 pulses and dog control!!). Did his annual transmitter change, he was a good 2000g in weight. 10 hours activity.

BYK kiwi release 

The annual community kiwi release planned for Feb 13 has been put off until we can safely have it without spreading Covid. Sorry but better to wait.

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385



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