Community are collaborating with Department of Conservation, Regional Council and other organisations, perhaps none more successfully than Whakaangi Landcare Trust at Hihi.
The Whakaangi Peninsula at Hihi is home to New Zealand’s most northern population of brown kiwi and numbers are growing as this year’s call counts outstrip recent years. The population is estimated to be more than 300.
The trust that manages the efforts to save the local kiwi celebrates its 15th year in 2013 and convenor, Colin Salt, is thrilled at progress. “It has been such a pleasure to watch the bush regenerate, the birds return and to hear kiwi call almost every night of the year”, he reports.
“We began as a group of landowners concerned about the deteriorating state of our local environment. Possums were rampant, the bush was dying and we knew how threatened kiwi were by pests like stoats and rats. We formed the Whakaangi Landcare Trust and started the long process of finding funders who would work with us to develop a robust pest management programme” Mr Salt reports “We have been blessed with strong support by many funders over the years, including Department of Conservation, the Northland Regional Council and Kiwis for Kiwi”.
The trust contracts two trappers who work all year round ensuring that pests like possums, stoats, weasels and rats are managed, giving the kiwi their best chance of survival. “Kiwi are so vulnerable in their first six months of life that if we can get them safely to that point, we know we are going to win the war against the pests” says Mr Salt.
Recently, Pub Charity provided a little extra funding for some dedicated work over the summer period.
All good stories are not without their dark moments and, recently, kiwi in the area had a close call. Two dogs were found in the no-dog zone area. They are suspected of killing three kiwi found within the project area. In 2008, a large number of kiwi were killed by a dog which ran loose for almost two weeks in the Purua scenic reserve, north of Whangarei.
Uncontrolled dogs are the number one killer of adult kiwi in Northland. “We are telling people that it’s not a good idea to let dogs wander, especially at night when kiwi are active. If you are taking your dog on holiday, make sure you know where it is at all times and always keep it on a lead. The safest option is to avoid any chance of an encounter with kiwi” says Kiwis for Kiwi advisor, Wendy Sporle. “Kiwi are so easy for a dog to find and they do not have the additional protection of a breast-bone and one little bite will crush its chest, damage internal organs and the birds cannot survive”.
Whakaangi Landcare Trust will be having its second annual fundraiser Open Day at Hihi Beach from 11am – 2pm on Friday, 4 January 2013. All are welcome.
For further information contact:
Whakaangi Landcare Trust Convenor
Box 232, Mangonui
Far North 0442.
Mobile: 0274 930113