Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed plans by the Kiwis for Kiwi Trust to boost the number of kiwi chicks captured in the wild for later release in to predator free habitats.
“Through Operation Nest Egg the Trust will use kiwi crèches or kōhanga kiwi sites to raise chicks to 1 kilogram in weight so they are big enough to fend for themselves in the wild,” Ms Barry says.
“Juveniles will be relocated every year into predator controlled areas that currently have few or no kiwi. We will stock the safe havens we have with kiwi.
“It links closely with the Department’s Kiwi Recovery Plan and forms part of the Government’s $11.2 million Budget 2015 investment in kiwi conservation. $3.5M of that fund will go to community and Maōri-led projects via Kiwis for kiwi.”
“In areas where we have been able to manage kiwi we have achieved a 2% population growth. The hard work of DOC and community organisations such as Kiwis for kiwi, is having a real impact. The challenge is in scaling up those efforts and that is what this new strategy aims to do.
“The community effort through Kiwis for kiwi of trapping predators and intensively managing kiwi eggs and chicks complements the DOC strategy for large-scale predator control to create safe habitat for kiwi.
Wild kiwi numbers currently sit just below 70,000.
“Kiwis for kiwi coordinates more than 100 community and Maōri led kiwi conservation projects and this community support is essential if we are to achieve our goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030,” Ms Barry says.
“The Kiwis for Kiwi Trust has been working with community and iwi groups for decades. They are our trusted partners in kiwi conservation.”
Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today attended the launch of the strategy on Motutapu Island on behalf of Minister Barry. “The strategy is bold; it’s ambitious, but it’s doable. It has identified a way to get us all closer to our goal far more quickly,” Minister Wagner says.