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.
Formal monitoring programme
The Department of Conservation has a formal kiwi call monitoring programme, run as part of Kiwis for kiwi.
Staff and volunteers visit specific sites at specific times. In Northland and the five kiwi sanctuaries this happens every year. Elsewhere, it is usually on a five-yearly cycle.
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.