Meet our Monitored kiwi
- At present we look after and monitor around 80 kiwi fitted with radio transmitters all over Taranaki including.
- 20 adults released on Taranaki Maunga in partnership with the Taranaki Mounga Project. We are monitoring them to gather further data on breeding and survival in Te Papakura O Taranaki.
- We have also released 30 kiwi on the Kaitake Ranges, again partnered with Taranaki Mounga Project, we monitor these birds with help from volunteers form the Kaitake Range Conservation Trust.
- We work in partnership with Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust as the Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare (TKKR) and there can be anywhere between 10 and 40 birds monitored in the Kōhanga depending on the time of year. The established breeding population there is now providing 30-50 kiwi a year to repopulate other sites. These birds are monitored by staff and volunteers from both organisations.
- We are monitoring 10 birds of 40 released into a private property called the Totara Block not far from Rotokare Sanctuary since 2020. The sites predator control is managed by South Taranaki Forest & Bird with assistance from the Taranaki Regional Council.
- The release of an initial 10 precious kiwi to a site in Omoana was the product of many years trapping work by the Trust, partnered with the 800 Trust, Native Forest Restoration Trust, Taranaki Regional Council, Doc and private landowners. We have a permit to release 80 birds at the site over 5 years.
Stella is sponsored and named by Blake Marston and family from Grounded Kiwi, she was released at Omoana near Tupaia in the hopes that the two of them would pair up. Unfortunately for him, she has already traveled quite a distance away. Hopefully she finds a mate, or heads back to find Tupaia, which will make monitoring her much easier!
Named by Ngāti Ruanui kaumatua, Uncle Sandy Parata, after Ngāti Tupaia, the hapū from the Rotokare Sanctuary rohe. Tupaia was released near Stella, as we had big plans for them. Unfortunately, Stella has decided to go on an adventure and has left Tupaia all alone! We are hoping he will find a wild female and start breeding within the next year or two.
Sponsored by Primo Wireless after their first manu on the Mounga, Primo, managed to escape her transmitter! Rewi is named after Dave one of their long serving staff members. When Rewi was first caught at the kōhanga for translocation, he was found in with his mate (now known as Ohia) and the two were released together at Omoana. They have subsequently stayed closed together near to their initial release site, and we are excited to see if they breed this year.
Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare
Alex is an adult male kiwi who was bred within the reserve at Rotokare. He was caught by professional dog catchers in 2017, and has been part of a group of males monitored since then to understand their productivity. We can see how often they sit on eggs and how many chicks hatch each year to gain better understanding of the population growth. Alex often hangs out right by the road, and one year he even had his breeding burrow right on the side of the road up a bank. We were able to use a ladder from the road to get to the burrow. His two chicks that year are called Axle and Prince. His 2020 clutch of eggs hatched during the first Covid 19 lockdown – so appropriately the chicks were called Ardern and Bloomfield! This picture shows one of his chicks undergoing a health check.
Papa is another bird with a very special story and has been in the news after he was attacked by a stoat on Waitaanga Rd, North Taranaki, in late 2019. Fortunately a truck driver noticed the kiwi’s plight while driving past, leapt from his truck and rescued the young chick from the jaws of the stoat at the bottom of a papa bank. He was sent to Wildbase Hospital for treatment, then to Wairakei Sanctuary to recuperate. In June 2020 he was brought back to Taranaki and released permanently in Rotokare Reserve to provide new genetics and become Founder #37 for the TKKR project.
Totara Block Kiwi
Here is Prince the day she was release into the Totara Blocks. She was born in November 2018 at the kōhanga and named by our Trust Manager. She had been a little elusive to catch from time to time for her health checks, so we were please to release her without a transmitter.
Kiwi on Mt Taranaki & the Kaitake Ranges
Popo hatched in 2016 at Mt Hiwi in South Taranaki. He spent his very early life at Kiwi Encounter and then wascreched at Rotokare Scenic Reserve until he was a suitable weight to be released onto the maunga. Popokatea (whitehead) was named by a Mt Hiwi trustee due to the white patches around his face and the bald head that he has had since hatch. Popo has become known as the sub alpine bachelor kiwi as he lives up near Warwick Castle in the scrub and tussock and is yet to successfully breed.
Koko is sponsored by Contact Energy and hatched on Christmas day in 2009 at Kiwi Encounter. He spent the first 8 years of his life at Otorohonga Kiwi House and was released on Taranaki Mounga in 2017. Koko has taken up residence around the Connett Loop Track area at North Egmont and has proved himself as a successful breeder. Here is a link to a video of Koko doing a bit of housekeeping outside his burrow in late 2020.
Erendhil hatched in 2015 at Otorohonga Kiwi House and lived there until her release in 2017. He was released on the same day as Dale on the Curtis Falls Track and she has remained there since. Erendhil has proved to be a successful breeder and her and Dale have bred each year since their release with two clutches in 2023.
Dale hatched in 2013 at Otorohonga Kiwi House and lived there for the first 4 years of his life. He was released in 2017 on the Curtis Falls Track and has remained less than a few hundred metres from his release site not far from the Mountain House. Dale was released near Erendhil and they have since become a pair breeding successfully each year.
Haimona was bred at the Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare and was found on 26th March 2021 during the annual dog walkthrough survey, an adult male weighing in at 1.9kg with a bill length of 106mm. Haimona was subsequently translocated to the Kaitake ranges on 9th April and was named for Simon Collins the manager at Rotokare Sanctuary who passed away the week before Haimona was caught, sadly Haimona was one of the birds predated late in 2022 by either a feral cat or ferret.
Silver hatched in 2017. He was taken as an egg from the wild, hatched at Kiwi Encounter then creched at Rotokare Scenic Reserve until he was a suitable weight to be released on the mountain. Silver is a very special kiwi to the Castle family who have followed his progress from day one, they were present at the egg lift and continue to monitor him on the mountain. Silver had two clutches last season and we have high hopes he will continue to breed well into the future with his partner Ngana, they had two clutches in the 2023 breeding season.
Many of the 170 kiwi release on Taranaki Maunga have been monitored over the years. As well as our featured birds the following have transmitters attached and are being monitored by our Kiwi Ranger Toby Shanley and a team of volunteers. Many of them live in close proximity to the North Egmont Visitors Centre
- Raka & Torokaha
- Deirdre & Smutsy
- Hina ki te ao
- Kaha & Fern
- Ngaruru & Ngawai Kaukau
30 kiwi have now been released on the Kaitake Ranges since 2021. Kiwi were once widespread throughout the ranges but had disappeared presumed due to predation from introduced predators. The Kaitake Ranges Conservation Trust and the Taranaki Mounga Project have been working hard to reduce predator numbers which have enabled kiwi to thrive and breed on the Ranges, and as you can see meny of them have paired up!
- Hohepa & Tangahoe
- Ahu & Hiwi
- Kowhai – named by Oakura School
- Puanga – named by Coastal Taranaki School & Aroha – named by Omata School
- Ti Kouka & Ruhi
- Kowhai & Ash
- Spencer & Pourewa
- Miyagi & Ngapikitanga