Taranaki Kiwi Trust is working with the Taranaki Mounga Project to re-establish a kiwi population in Egmont National Park on Mt Taranaki. We have two projects running in tandem and the combination of these programmes has allowed us to release 80 kiwi into Egmont National Park so far.
The first project is servicing a predator trap network, which started in 2004, and covers 9000 ha of the national park. Included in the trap network are two trap lines on the Mangorei and Maude Tracks which are checked monthly by rostered Taranaki Kiwi Trust volunteers.
The second project involves releasing kiwi on "the Mountain" with O.N.E. (Operation Nest Egg). This is done using our trained volunteer kiwi rangers to lift partially incubated eggs from the burrows of wild kiwi in the hill country. These eggs are then taken to Kiwi Encounter, where the eggs are hatched and the young chicks are cared for until they weigh 1kg. At this point a juvenile kiwi is large enough to survive in the wild and can be released into Egmont National Park.
As part of this project we are monitoring kiwi in the park. In 2016 we did an extensive kiwi survey on Mt Taranaki. Unfortunately, the results were not great and we did not hear as many kiwi as hoped. What we did discover is that the areas with high kiwi present were in the predator controlled zone, so it confirmed that we need to continue with this work. We are now on phase 2 and releasing 20 sub adult, and 7 adult kiwi into the park with transmitters. We will be monitoring these birds monthly, up to 3 years to help determine the effect of 1080 operations on kiwi survival. The monitoring will address several questions including, dispersal, survival after and in between two 1080 operations, as well as early breeding attempts in a low population.
In 2016 we did a survey of the Mountain to see where the kiwis were. 50+ volunteers dedicated their time to assist with the field work and recorder analysis. We had people do walk through surveys on 23 tracks, and 101 acoustic recording sites were used. TKT Educators worked together with Oakura and Ngaere Schools.
Results were not as high as hoped the acoustic survey detected. Kiwi were detected at 6 of the 101 sites - 57 male calls and 10 female calls. It is promising that the majority of them were clustered within the trapped area.
TKT with the support of the Taranaki Mounga project will release 20 sub- adult kiwi with transmitters, and track them for three years. These birds will mainly come via Operation Nest Egg programme (ONE) run by TKT. The kiwi will be a mix of males and females, and will be released into the 9000ha stoat trapping area, the same area where kiwi have been released in the past. We will also release 5 -10 adult kiwi with transmitters, thanks to the Otorohanga Kiwi House captive breeding programme. We will be track dispersal, survival and breeding attempts, and will be able to look at the different behaviours of sub-adults and adults post release.
We need to get sponsorship for each kiwi released in Egmont National Park. Human listeners are needed to determine number of actual kiwi heard.Sponsor a Kiwi
You can report any kiwi you hear or see in the bush by emailing us. We encourage you to get a group together and extend the trapping network on the Mountain.
Partnership project: Taranaki Kiwi Trust and Department of Conservation, Curious Minds, Taranaki Regional Council, Kiwis for Kiwis & Taranaki Electricity Trust