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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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December 5th, 2022

22 – November Report

Postponed Public Kiwi Release – but Hope still steals the show



Todd at Parua Bay School

We had 4 kiwi lined up for transfer from Matakohe/Limestone but two showed signs of nesting and another had an infected leg leaving us with only 2 year old LC2002 to go. A public release with only one kiwi would have been too stressful for the kiwi not to mention the heavy rain forecast, which eventuated, so we postponed.

LC2002 was named “Hope” as part of the Parua Bay School 150th celebrations and she did a fantastic job of engaging her community with her species!  She had been transferred to Limestone Island from the Lovells’ Purua farm back in 2020 as a chick.  The gift of this kiwi, and others, from Purua landowners and Ngati Hine is greatly appreciated by Backyard Kiwi and the Parua Bay community. After a gentle catch first thing in the morning she stared at the FOMLI Whakawaatea performed by Te Parawhau kaumatua Fred Tito on the Onerahi foreshore.

After a few hours sleep she was welcomed to Parua Bay by 130 students who got a science lesson on kiwi evolution, threats to kiwi and how their community has turned things around for their kiwi. And most crucially learnt how essential it is that we control our dogs and walk them on a lead (see pic). Hope had them enthralled.

Hope took all this in her stride and that evening made herself at home on a 200ha dog free property that has recently had a controlled pulse of Kiwi Saver (1080)- perfect kiwi country. Her data stream from her transmitter has since shown good nightly activity as she explores her new home. With ongoing good community dog control she has over 50 years to look forward to.

Thank you to all those who work so hard on and around these release days – it is a huge team effort but special thanks to Jo of FOMLI, Ngaire of Kiwi Coast and Mark Ashcroft of Parua Bay School- thanks!

The same message for our summer visitors – Take the Lead!!! Please get visitors to control their dogs

Dogs are the number one threat to adult kiwi. Locals have worked hard to protect their kiwi by having good control of their dogs – tied up or inside at night, walked on a lead and not allowed to wander.  Over summer if you have visitors please get them to do the same – they won’t be very popular if their dog wanders!   If you see an uncontrolled dog please call Dog Control on 09 4304200 and emphasis that you are in a kiwi area.

Whangarei Heads combined Conservation Christmas do

Thank you to Bream Head for being such great hosts for last Friday’s xmas do for the Landcare and other conservation groups who are so active in our community(see pic). Great to see so many happy folks and hear about all the good work going on – what a fantastic community!

Very Lucky Fish


You may have seen this story in the Advocate.  A few weeks ago some fishermen were heading home at 5am and saw a kiwi get hit by a car just past the Nook turn off. They picked him up and took him home. I got the call and expected the worse but he was alive when I got there and still active. It must have been a glancing blow to his butt- the toughest part of a kiwi because a gentle squeeze of their chest will kill them!  After a couple of health checks and a day sleeping in a kiwi box “Fish” (named by the fisherman’s son) was good to go. I inserted an ID chip and put a temporary transmitter on him to closely monitor him. I moved him well away from any roads and dogs. He actually ran off on release which was a great sign. Over the past three weeks his data stream has shown good nightly activity of 9.5 hours  so his future looks good – lucky Fish!

Another Urquart’s Bay kiwi death

After last month’s dead kiwi found in a bach garden another dead kiwi was found on the beach by a local. Quite decomposed and with a broken upper bill but otherwise intact. No ID chip and would have been well over the magic 1000g size needed to fight off stoats. Has been sent for autopsy.

 What your monitored kiwi are up to:

367mm rainfall for November (100mm is average) has made life difficult for some of us but the kiwi are thriving – heaps of feed and fat as!

 Whangarei Heads Radio monitored kiwi:  

  • Chookie – Owhiwa Road. His Second nest is going well at 61 days in on 28/11/22, 3 hours activity.
  • Malaika – Has remained over 500m north of her usual area near Chookie. Her activity is 8.5 hours nightly.
  • Valentine – She is still settled for the moment, back in the area of pampas and young pines that she was in before going walk about.
  • Teina – He is in the young pines at the north end of Martins’ block. A couple of lower activity nights and down to 8 hours average so hoping that he may nest, but he is probably just sitting on his fat rear end.
  • Beach Girl – Back at the Halses’ Ross Road property. Did her tx change, 2500g so still going strong after nearly starving to death back in 2020 before being rescued. 9.5 hours average activity.
  • Pepi – Has done a bit of moving around including heading to the east into the valley opposite the Parua Bay boat ramp where Ross spent time back in 2018. 9.5 hours nightly activity.
  • Wally – Sitting hard on his second nest of the season – 46 days in on 16/11/22, 2 hours activity.
  • Pakipaki – In Johnstone’s paddock McLeod Bay. 9.5 hours activity.

Rarewarewa/Purua ONE dads. No chicks transferred to Matakohe/Limestone this month:

  • Nick – Has re-nested already 13 days in on 24/11/22. 5.5 hours activity. This guy is “Hope’s” dad.
  • Sancho – Feeding up in the paddock north of quarry after nesting. 10.5 hours activity.
  • Ngutu Roa – Usual area SW reserve, 9 hours activity.
  • Nanakia – Monthly monitoring on 24/11/22 data stream showed him 34 days dead (no tx movement). He was last monitored 7/10/22. He was completely decomposed – only feathers and scattered bones left which is very rapid decomposition for natural causes, usually the leathery skin and flesh takes much longer to rot away. No head or bill found.  He was underneath a pile of pine slash 20m north of Lovell’s fenced bush fence. Very close to where Cliff was killed last year and Julia caught a large ferret afterwards.  It will be interesting to see if there are any ferret bite marks on the bones. He had been showing himself to be a good reliable breeder and had a previous history of monitoring as a chick back in 2004. Julia has set some more live capture traps for ferrets and has checked other transmitted kiwi nearby – one ferret on the kill can devastate an adult kiwi population.
  • Moondust  – In rushes in the paddock behind Lovell’s woolshed.  Did his 6 monthly band change: 2450g (his heaviest recorded weight – he hasn’t nested this season after being a good breeder previous 2 years). 10 hours activity.

    Moon Dust

  • Gorgeous – Usual area on south side of Hawkins’ Hill. Has re-nested in paddock burrow – 34 days in on 24/11/22, 4 hours activity.
  • Buddha – In burrow down in creek bed just north of McGraths’ quarry, 8.5 hours activity. Did his 6 monthly band change – a fat 2450g.
  • Macio – Feeding up after nesting. South side of the Purua reserve. 10.5 hours activity.
  • Mitch – South side of Purua reserve, 12.5 hours activity.
  • Otiria – South side of Purua reserve, Nightly activity of 10.5 hours.
  • Kopaki – South side of Purua. Activity of 12 hours.

Trapping/ toxin pulses

November catches: Stoats 2, Weasels 1, Cats 2, Rats 67, Hedgehogs 2 only, Possums 7.

The salted rabbit stoat lure has been rapidly going rotten in the wet conditions.

Hope that everyone has a good Xmas

Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager
Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385



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