Posted by ruth woodward
Otanewainuku’s kiwi population continues to grow with Matariki and Sonny released recently into the forest by the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust.
The North Island Brown kiwi are part of the Operation Nest Egg (ONE) programme and have spent their early days at the Kiwi encounter hatchery in Rotorua.
Caption: OKT volunteers Sheryl (left) and Anna wish Matariki a safe journey in her new home at Otanewainuku Forest.
Once these kiwi have reached one kilogram in weight they are translocated to the Waikato crèche where they learn about life in the wild and grow to be an adult in size so that they are more capable of fighting off predators.
In the wild a kiwi chick has a 1 in 20 chance of survival as they cannot defend themselves against a stoat. The work that the Trust and ONE do to nurture these chicks to adulthood, improves their survival odds ten-fold. Nationally North Island Brown kiwi numbers are declining at two percent per year.
The hard work of the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust (OKT) volunteers and the expertise of Department of Conservation has seen kiwi numbers slowly growing at Otanewainuku.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council is proud to support the great work of the Trust. Council gives practical support and funding to OKT’s program for the long term survival of the endangered North Island brown kiwi, including funding for the Trust’s specialised tracking equipment.
The kiwi population in Otanewainuku has reached 23 comprising of 10 male/13 female and including eight breeding pairs.