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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 3rd, 2023

2023-October update

Whangarei Heads combined Conservation Christmas Do

Friday the 1st of December from 5pm at McLeods Bay Hall for our annual BBQ get together to celebrate all the great community work going on in the Whangarei Heads and wider area. It is always a great occasion. The invite is attached – please rsvp to this year’s hosts Weed Action.

Kiwi Link is working!

Kiwi Link is a community driven Kiwi recovery project involving 11 Landcare groups in the area between Backyard Kiwi at the Whangarei Heads and Tutukaka Landcare.  Kiwi Link is supported by the NRC as a High Value Area and co-ordinated by Kiwi Coast’s Ngarie Sullivan.  The vision of these groups is not only to enhance their own area but to combine to provide a safe link for kiwi between the two strongholds of Whangarei Heads and Tutukaka.

Last month I reported on the travels of the radio monitored kiwi Fetu Mama. She had travelled from Parua Bay through to the Maungatika Scienic Reserve way up the top of Tiger Mt, in the Whareora Landcare area.  This month two other radio-monitored kiwi have headed north from Parua Bay with Te Motu Manu Hine turning up in the NRC pine block between Mt Tiger and Onerahi.  Fish went missing from Parua Bay too and has been tracked by Pataua North Landcare’s Carl Dowd as far north as the Horahora estuary area and is now in the Whanui pine plantation (managed by Manulife Forestry).  As these kiwi move north they will be linking up the remnant kiwi in the area and kiwi from the Taheke and Pataua North Landcare populations that have been supplemented by kiwi releases.  It is fantastic how these kiwi are safely moving through the landscape thanks to community driven stoat and dog control.

Kiwi Link has a facebook page if you are interested and here is the link to their recent annual report:

Thank you Jo and Welcome Bevan

Jo Skyrme and her partner Darren are moving on after 3 years of fantastic work as the Matakohe/Limestone Island FOMLI Ranger.  A big thank you to Jo for her dedicated work which includes the crucial stoat control to enable the island to be used as a kiwi crèche for the kiwi chicks we transfer from the DoC and Ngati Hine managed Purau area.  Bevan Morgan (previously doing great work with the NRC) and his partner Courtney are now continuing the great work on the island. Welcome!

Stoat Control at the Heads

The controlled bait station pulse of kiwi saver/1080 by Manaia Landcare led by Jess Ogle and Martin Hunt is winding up.  This pulse combined with those on private blocks will have given a real boost to kiwi chick and other bird survival at the Heads this year by cleaning out the trap shy stoats that have built up.  It has also meant good possum and rat control in these areas for the crucial spring period.


Even with the toxin pulses we maintain our predator traps, particular in the areas away from the pulses.

October catches: Stoats 0, Weasels 0, Cats 1, Rats 38, Hedgehogs 0, Possums 10.

Spring/early summer is usually a high stoat catch period so the 1080 is doing its job.

Dog kills confirmed

The pathogy reports on the 3 kiwi killed by dogs over the winter at Little Munro Bay and Reotahi have come back from Massey University confirming them as dog kills- no surprises there.

With the summer holidays approaching please politely remind any visiting dog owners to walk their dogs on a lead and not let them wander.

What your radio monitored kiwi have been up to:

Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay :-

  • Chookie – 43 days into his second nest on 28/10/23, a good low 120 minutes nightly activity. His nest is in his usual area below the road on Martins’ Forestry block boundary on Owhiwa Road.
  • Teina – In his usual area of pampas and pines at the north end of Martins’ pine block.  9 hours activity.
  • Beach Girl – She has been hanging on the Martins’ and Halses’ blocks boundary between Owhiwa and Ross Roads. Her activity is 9.5 hours nightly.
  • Hope – She has remained in the pampas and young pines at the Northern end of Martins’ block, 10 hours activity.
  • Fish – He has continued his travels from the end of Ross Road.  Carl of PNLC got a signal from him well north and managed to catch up with him on a landowner’s driveway near the Horahora river (over 10km north). Fish was 2130g and 98.2mm (compared to 1525g and 90.7mm back in March so is doing well).  Carl also replaced his transmitter as it was due and is going to continue monitoring him
  • Murdoch  – After successfully hatching two chicks he has remained near the end of Owhiwa road. 10 hours nightly activity.
  • Om – She has been hanging close to Murdoch’s nest area at the end of Owhiwa road. 9.5 hours of nightly activity.
  • Maia – She continues to cruise around the Martins’ pine block.   10.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Humphries –  This young fella is still hanging in the pines and pampas at the Martins’ pine block at the start of Owhiwa Road, 10 hours nightly activity.
    ·        Fetu mama – After tracking her all the way to the Maungatika Scenic Reserve in the Whareora Landcare area last month and Ngaire recording a male kiwi calling nearby, we were interested to see if she would stay.  She wandered further to the NW (towards Onerahi) before returning to almost the exact spot that Ngaire and I had found her previously. So she must have liked the sound of male calling!
  • Te Motu Manu Hine – After no signal since 23/6/23, despite wide searches by both Kerry, me and also Carl of PNLC to the north I was beginning to doubt our chances of finding her.  But when Fetu mama continued walking further NW I headed down the track between Tiger Mt road and Onerahi looking for her and got signals not only for Fetu mama (who has since doubled back) but also the missing Te Motu Manu Hine!!  It looks like she is in the NRC pine block between Mt Tiger and the Money Factory area. Rolf is going to give me a hand to track her more closely.
  • Wally – Not checked since hatching two chicks at the end of September. He should be feeding up after nesting (down to 1900g after being a 3250g bachelor a few years ago). His recent chicks have been named “Kaia” and “Jess” after a couple of the budding Campbell road conservationists.
  • Waewae – Has finished nesting in the pampas in the McLeod Bay Horse paddock. I checked his nest once his activity increased – 82 days nesting on 7/10/23, 13 days after his data stream had shown his first hatch. His first chick had left the nest, the second was still there – about 5 days old, 260g, 46.0mm, now ID chipped. (see pic) Dad was down to 1875g after his nesting stint but otherwise doing well. The Manaia kiwi saver/1080 pulse was perfectly timed to protect these guys from stoats.


Rarewarewa/Purua ONE Dads: Finally got the first chick of the season for transfer to Matakohe/Limestone – hopefully this rain may lead to some more.

  • Moondust  – No signal this month.
  • Buddha – In a shallow burrow, in creek bank, in the paddock north of McGraths’ quarry.  Did his 6 monthly check; fat 2700g! No sign of nesting! 10.5 hours activity.
  • Macio  – Finally got a signal for this guy – deep in the crater of Purua reserve. I was hoping that he had been tucked away nesting somewhere but no such luck. 10.5 hours activity and no record of nesting on his data stream.
  • Otiria –  In the South side of Purua reserve,  11hours nightly activity.
  •         Mitch   – South Purua reserve, 12 hours activity.
  • 64 – Feeding up after nesting. 10.5 hours activity.
  • Tahi – In one of the big old logging stumps 100m E of the Purua hill  trig, he was with a female so not handled.  10.5 hours of activity.
  • Rua – So far it is 3rd time lucky for Rua, 21 days nesting on 16/10/23.  He is in a shallow nesting burrow under an old fence line at the back of Alisons’ farm.  190 minutes activity. (see pic)
  • Macky –  In George’s bush – 10.5 hours activity.
  • Derek – South Purua reserve. Nested 83 days and successfully hatched a single egg. Chick LC2301 transferred to Limestone on 16/10/23. Dad was 2050g and PM condition, transmitter band done. (see pic)


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385







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