Counting the number of kiwi calls is one way to estimate the size of a population.

Call count monitoring - Header Image

When calls are monitored in the same place over several years, it helps build a picture of what is happening with kiwi numbers and distribution – are you hearing more, fewer or the same number of birds? Are they in the same places, a smaller area, or has the population expanded over more ground?

When a kiwi population is being managed, the call count results should show the benefits.

The data that is gathered regarding kiwi distribution is also useful during the first stage of Operation Nest Egg, when we find wild kiwi to fit with a transmitter so that we can monitor when they have laid an egg.

To hear some examples of what you are listening for as well as some of the common nocturnal animals whose calls are sometimes mistaken for kiwi click here

Formal monitoring programme

The Department of Conservation has a formal kiwi call monitoring programme.

Anyone interested in helping with kiwi call monitoring should contact your local Department of Conservation office.

Informal monitoring programme – kiwi call scheme

The informal kiwi call scheme is open to anyone who visits the backcountry and can distinguish kiwi calls from those of weka, morepork and possums.

The scheme allows kiwi distribution to be determined, and the call rates allow researchers to work out a coarse index of how many birds there are.

Kiwi report card

The informal kiwi call scheme uses kiwi reporting cards. These can be filled in by anyone who spends time in the hills – trampers, hunters, freshwater fishers, farmers – if any evidence of kiwi is found, such as feathers, probe holes or footprints.

When you next go into the wilds, take a kiwi reporting card with you – they are available from Department of Conservation offices or can be downloaded here.

Send completed cards to:

Rogan Colbourne –Department of Conservation, PO Box 10420, Wellington 6143. Or by email

Kiwi call count monitoring training package

This package of resources is for an experienced person to use when training community volunteers in how to monitor kiwi calls. It includes a training booklet, a CD of various calls to help people learn the difference between kiwi and other similar sounding animals, and a certificate for anyone who completes the training.

The package was created by Wendy Sporle. To request the package, email

If you have any questions about call count monitoring, please contact Kiwis for kiwi (Email:

Junior kiwi certificate

You can download a PDF copy of our “Junior Kiwi Certificate” to print out and hand out to children who have been learning about kiwi, the threats they face, and have also listened for kiwi and can identify between male and female calls.