Even certified kiwi dogs, specifically trained to help conservation workers find kiwi, have to wear muzzles—just in case.
What dog owners can do
The best solution is the simplest—keep all dogs away from all areas where wild kiwi live. The birds are especially vulnerable during their breeding season, from June to the following March.
However, if you live or play in places where wild kiwi live, you can manage your dog to reduce the threat it poses to the birds.
Kiwis for kiwi encourages all dog owners, especially hunters, to enrol their animals in kiwi avoidance training to help them learn to avoid the birds.
If you are travelling, make sure you know about the area where you will be visiting, whether kiwi are present and if dogs are allowed.
This is a guide to where dogs are permitted on public conservation lands managed by DOC.
Check this map to see if there are kiwi in the area or contact your local Department of Conservation
Other things you can do are:
- When you are not with your dog keep it inside or in a roomy run or kennel.
- Ensure your property is dog escape-proof.
- When out and about, keep your dog on a lead at all times—a kiwi can be caught and killed in seconds.
- Exercise your dog in areas designated for that purpose.
- Never let your dog roam at night.
- If hunting where wild kiwi live, put tracking collars on your dogs and take all dogs home at the end of the hunt.
- If you lose your dog, or see a roaming dog, report it immediately to the Department of Conservation.
- Never abandon unwanted dogs. Give them to the SPCA or ask a vet to put them down humanely.
Our How to Save Kiwi video has tips on how to keep kiwi safe from dogs.