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Kiwi in Kerikeri - 20 October 2011

The Kiwi Foundation Charitable Trust was set-up in 2000 to help landowners manage their land for kiwi in order to halt the decline of our national icon on the mainland. From small beginnings on Kerikeri Peninsula, the Kiwi Foundation now organises or directly undertakes integrated pest management on more than 20,000 hectares of private land in Far North District. So, what's happened to the kiwi population in this period, a period of massive development and population growth in Far North?

An indication of the number of kiwi is assessed through annual call counting which takes place in May, June and sometimes July each year. On a year by year basis there are often fluctuations in the number of calls due to variables including ground and weather conditions. Rangitane and Marsden Cross are two DoC national sites where kiwi call monitoring began in the 1990s, and both places are located within in key activity areas for the Kiwi Foundation on Kerikeri and Purerua peninsulas.

While more than 25 years is required for any statistical confidence, the kiwi call monitoring from these two Kerikeri sites is now sufficient to provide a good indication of the trends. Both monitoring locations demonstrate a rising trend line (the straight lines on the graph below), with Marsden Cross particularly so. Note that Marsden Cross was not monitored in 2008.

A further breakdown of the data shows that the trend lines were flatter for Marsden Cross and declining for Rangitane for the period 1995 to 2003. Large scale pest management was initiated by the Kiwi Foundation on both peninsulas during 2002. The slope of both trend lines increases for the period 2002 to 2011 which indicates an increasing population. However, the statistical accuracy is less because of the shorter time series.

Both peninsulas have high density kiwi populations. The data is encouraging as it shows that everyone's efforts are worthwhile and that the number of kiwi is increasing. But kiwi deaths attributable to dogs and vehicles continue to be a major issue. We live in an amazing area let's keep it amazing!

Kiwi Foundation thanks all those who have supported us over the years, the volunteers, the individuals and organisations who have funded our activities, the landowners who are so enthusiastic about protecting kiwi, and all those in our community who are making the crucial effort of controlling their pets.

Marsden Cross and Rangitane Mean Kiwi Call Counts 1995 to 2011

Pateke - Brown Teal - photo by Greg Blunden

Anyone interested in supporting Kiwi Foundation through donation or membership or if you have kiwi on or near your land and would like assistance in protecting these birds please contact the NZ Kiwi Foundation

Greg Blunden and Tim Robinson

Keep our kiwi areas pest free and pet free. Pest free + pet free = kiwi are free

To editors: for more information contact Greg Blunden 09 405 1244 - 021 710 441 -