Meet our Monitored kiwi
- At present we look after and monitor many kiwi fitted with radio transmitters all over Taranaki.
- Eight of these are adults in the wild, we monitor and collect eggs from them for Save the Kiwi Operation Nest Egg Project.
- 13 are adults that we have released on Mt Taranaki 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 also released 10 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 at any time there can be anywhere between 10 and 40 birds monitored in the reserve. We are growing a breeding population which is now providing kiwi to repopulate other sites. These birds are monitored by staff and volunteers from both organisations and a few of them are featured here.
- We are now also monitoring 20 birds released into a private property called the Totara Block. The sites predator control is managed by South Taranaki Forest & Bird. The release of an initial 10 precious kiwi in June 2020 was a landmark event for the TKKR partnership and the very first translocation from the nearby reserve.
Kiwi in the Wild
Hansen has an interesting love story. He is an adult male, with particularly identifiable light grey coloured feathers, whom we monitored with the aim to collect eggs from for the TKKR project. After three years he had not incubated and we were about to give up on him and cut off his transmitter. In the meantime a monitored male kiwi living several valleys away from Hansen in Matau unfortunately died leaving behind his female partner. The next thing we knew Hansen must have heard her lonely calls, scurried over to her, and is now breeding and living happily ever after!
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
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.
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. 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 sadly passed away the week before Haimona was caught.
Other kiwi monitored on Taranaki Maunga were released in 2021.
- Primo – Sponsored by Primo Wireless
10 kiwi were released on the Kaitake Ranges in April and May 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 enabled kiwi to be released this year.
- Kowhai – named by Oakura School
- Puanga – named by Coastal Taranaki School
- Aroha – named by Omata School