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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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February 5th, 2024

2024 – January Report

Reminder: Kiwi Release Planned for Sunday Feb 25 at Parua Bay

As part of the Kiwi Coast Engagement program we are planning to transfer kiwi from the FOMLI managed Matakohe/Limestone Island to Parua Bay next month.

These kiwi releases and the subsequent monitoring of the kiwi via radio transmitters are a cornerstone of our engaging locals with their kiwi and lead to good dog control and support for 1080/kiwi saver- and far better kiwi population recovery in areas fortunate to have kiwi monitored this way.  People love to see and hear about their kiwi and go home to tie their dog up.

These releases are a huge team effort, but well worth it so thanks to all those involved.

2023 release

2023 release

Good conditions for Kiwi so far this summer

With some rain in January to add to the dollops we got at xmas conditions are still good for kiwi. Even though things are starting to dry up now there is plenty of bush ground cover, rank kikuya and other plants for them to keep out of the heat. Also still plenty of crickets and other tucker for them.  These conditions help limit kiwi wandering around during the day or pushing into new areas where they may meet a dog.  On the main visitors have continued to be good with their dog control – plenty of dogs (probably 100s of extras!) but the vast majority on a lead which is fantastic to see!

The monitored kiwi dads have or are having a second nest so there will be a good crop of kiwi chicks this year.  The spring pulses of kiwi saver/1080 at Manaia, private land on Taurikura Ridge and part of the coastal strip will have cleaned out trapshy stoats at those places but also seem to have had a positive effect over much of the Heads peninsula with stoat catches and recorded sightings low for this time of year – there will still be some of the little buggers about causing damage so we keep chipping away at them! This good stoat control in most places should mean a good survival rate for the chicks and a bright future for the local kiwi population



Even with the recent Kiwi saver toxin pulses we maintain our predator traps.

January catches: Stoats 2, Weasels 4, Cats 1, Rats 83, Hedgehogs 5, Possums 11.

What your radio monitored kiwi have been up to:

Monitored Kiwi moving through “Kiwi Link”

3 monitored kiwi (Fetu Mama, Te motu manu Hine and Fish) are still well north of Parua Bay  – Fish in Pataua North and the other two in the Whareora area.

Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay  Radio monitored kiwi:   



  • Chookie –  We had a wee bit of a scare with a mortality signal from his transmitter (kiwi movement is detected by a mercury switch in the transmitter and if no movement occurs because the kiwi is dead or the tx has fallen off the signal changes to “mortality” mode). On rare occasions a faulty switch causes a false mortality signal – and this was the case this time, much to our relief.  I had changed his tx in late December after his second successful nest but it obviously failed.  Kerry gave me a hand to catch him when he was in rushes in a wetland (instead of his usual dense pampas patch). We renewed his tx.  He was 2000g – putting on good weight after nesting. The new tx seems to be working ok. (see pic)
  • Beach Girl – She has been hanging in the pampas within 100m of Teina  on the Martins’ and Halses’ blocks boundary between Owhiwa and Ross Roads. Her nightly activity is 9 hours.  We did her annual transmitter change – 2500g in weight and moderate condition.

    Beach Girl

  • Teina – In his usual area of pampas and pines at the north end of Martins’ pine block.  8 hours of activity. Not far from Beach Girl
  • Hope –  She has remained in the pampas and young pines at the Northern end of Martins’ block, 9 hours activity. She is over 3 years old now and seems well.
  • Murdoch – His second nesting attempt did last long but he quickly had a third attempt which is going well. The nest is in pampas between Ross and Owhiwa roads. 46 days in on 15/1/24 and 4 hours activity, so he is holding ok.
  • Om – She is still hanging close to Murdoch’s nest. 9 hours of nightly activity- she will be feeding up after the huge effort of egg laying
  • Maia – She continues to cruise around the Martins’ pine block between Owhiwa and taurani Roads.   9 hours nightly activity.
  • Humphries –  This young fella is still hanging in the pines and pampas in between  Owhiwa Road and Tauranui Road, 8.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Tanker – Gave this guy a health check – he was hit by a milk tanker back in November and was 1600g, 104.8mm and poor condition back then. He is now 2200g, 106.7mm and in excellent condition- so not only recovered but doing extremely well. (see pic)
  • Wally – Down in the wetland by the estuary at the end of Campbell Road.  Down to 7 hours activity so may be starting another nest
  • Waewae – He is nesting again too! In the pampas in the McLeod Bay horse paddock. 13 days in on 9/1/24 and 4 hours activity

Whareora Landcare area:

  • Fetu mama – She is in the NRC pines south west of the Maungatika Scienic Reserve and still seems settled there at this stage. Nightly activity of 9 hours.
  • Te Motu Manu Hine – She has remained in the NRC pine block south of Mt Tiger Road. 9 hours activity.
  • Fish – PNLC monitoring

Rarewarewa/Purua ONE dads:
Still only 1 chick for the season from these guys and no sign of late nests.

  • Moondust – Julia from Doc got his signal behind the Lovells’ Irving road woolshed – 9.5 hours activity
  • Buddha – In the creek bank, in the paddock north of McGraths’ quarry.  9 hours activity.
  • Macio – West of ‘Kauri Tree Ridge’ in south Purua Reserve.  10.5 hours activity.
  • Otiria –  No signal this month.
  • Mitch   – Both Julia and I have had a good look for him – no signal. His last signal back in December was a bazar 19.6 hours activity so his transmitter may be playing up.
  • 64 – He is still on the steep slope on the SW side of Purua reserve. 10 hours activity.
  • Tahi – Up near the peak of Purua.  9 hours of activity.
  • Rua – Very weak signal from the back of Alisons’ farm – 30 pulse.
  • Macky –  No signal again this month – both Julia and I had a wide search.
  • Derek  – On “Stump” Ridge South-East Purua reserve. 9 hours activity.

See you at the release

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385


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