It is planned “Waipahu,” a Coromandel brown kiwi, will be joined by a further 40-45 kiwi on the pest and predator free island this year as part of Kiwis for kiwi’s new strategy to accelerate breeding in a bid to boost numbers.
Michelle Impey, executive director of Kiwis for kiwi said Motutapu Island was capable of holding 300 pairs of kiwi once revegetation is complete which is currently underway.
“We are planning on transferring around 200 kiwi to the Island over the next five years where they will become a permanent breeding population. In the future, their offspring will be removed and released to the wild to create new populations or to bolster existing ones,” said Ms Impey.
This approach accelerates what would have happened naturally, greatly condensing the time that these kiwi’s offspring will be released to the wild.
“We are confident it will work because we are using proven methodologies by having kōhanga kiwi as a source site and Operation Nest Egg to stock the kōhanga. We have the support of DOC, Iwi, Motutapu Restoration Trust, incubation facilities and the very important community led kiwi projects.”
Waipahu will be the 62nd kiwi released to Motutapu Island. The chick came from the Thames Coast Kiwi Care Group on the Thames coastline, Coromandel, was incubated at the Auckland Zoo and will now enjoy the safety of the protected Gulf Island.