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Egmont National Park Gains a Rock Star Kiwi

The famed Taranaki kiwi that was born in a car earlier this year was one of two released into the wild over the weekend. 

Rock Star, which gained its name due to its birth in the back of a car, and another juvenile kiwi were released into the Egmont National Park as part of a programme by the Taranaki Kiwi Trust. 

Trust manager Michelle Bird said the aim of the programme was to learn more about kiwi behaviour and how far they travel. 

“Currently we don’t know much about kiwi on Mt Taranaki because of the difficult terrain,” Bird said.

The kiwi will be monitored through transmitters each flightless bird was fitted with before being released.

Undertaking the programme on Mt Taranaki would not be possible without generous support, some of which comes from Taranaki Young Farmers, Bird said.

“It costs up to $1,500 to get a kiwi from an egg to a 1.2kg bird, which can fend off predators and is ready for release,” she said. 

The Young Farmers have donated money that helped rear one of the chicks and members were present on the release day. 

Central Taranaki Young Farmers chairman Nick Brown said club members recently helped set 50 traps in private bush near Eltham too. 

“It’s hoped that by reducing stoat and ferret numbers in the area, it will also be able to become a habitat for kiwi,” Brown said.

“We’re honoured to be a part of this important and rewarding project.” 

Bird said the kiwi were hatched and incubated at the Rotorua at Kiwi Encounter, the exception being Rock Star’s travelling birth. 

“They came back to Taranaki earlier this year and have been growing inside a predator-free zone at Rotokare Scenic Reserve,” she said.

The trust have now released 75 kiwi into the park since 2005.

Egmont National Park gains a Rock Star kiwi
Taranaki Young Farmer Stephen Hicks gets a kick out of holding kiwi Rock Star on its release day into the Egmont National Park.
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