Stoats are responsible for at least 60% of kiwi chick deaths.
Although the exact number of stoats we may have in New Zealand is unknown, Kiwis for kiwi’s executive director, Michelle Impey, says stoats are by far the most serious threat to kiwi survival.
“Stoats are decimating the kiwi population with six out of ten chicks being killed before they reach breeding age. Stoats were introduced to New Zealand back in 1884 to control rabbits and ironically, they are now the number one killer of our native bird.
“While we have over 100 community projects playing a huge role in predator control we need more people to get involved. This could mean setting traps where you live to control stoats, or rats, mice and possums, or it could mean offering support to the many people already doing this work by donating or volunteering your time.”
Resources to help with safely setting a trap are available at https://www.kiwisforkiwi.org/resources/predator-control-monitoring/
Other predators including possums, ferrets, dogs and feral cats kill another 35% of kiwi chicks. Only 5% of kiwi chicks born each year survive if born in areas without predator control.
Kiwis for kiwi and Department of Conservation have a combined goal of 2% growth of kiwi and are placing a strong focus on large scale predator control initiatives.
“We have been losing 2% of kiwi every year, which equates to 1000 kiwi per year, but we are on the cusp of reversing that decline. We know that a 2% growth rate within the next 15 years is achievable with a cohesive, committed approach from Government, DOC, Iwi, volunteer groups and every New Zealander.
Kiwis for kiwi is reminding all New Zealanders to do their part for Save Kiwi Month, even if they live in urban or stoat-free areas.
“We’re really excited this year for the second Great Kiwi Morning Tea fundraising event. Everyone can do their bit for kiwi and raise much needed funds to protect kiwi and their habitat by hosting a Great Kiwi Morning Tea on Friday 21 October,” says Impey.
“Get together at school, with friends, family or at work to share a traditional Kiwi morning tea and collect donations. All funds raised will be used to support community-led kiwi conservation projects throughout New Zealand including predator control, Operation Nest Egg and education programmes. Every $100 raised is enough to protect a kiwi for an entire year.”
Visit www.kiwisforkiwi.org to register as a Great Morning Tea host or to make a donation.