Research shows that the biggest threats to kiwi are warm blooded predators that have been introduced to New Zealand—mammals such as stoats, ferrets, dogs, cats and pigs.
These new predators hunt by smell and kiwi have an unhelpfully strong odour because they evolved to avoid predators who hunted by sight.
The introduced mammals devastate kiwi populations—in unmanaged areas, only about 5% of wild-born chicks survive to adulthood. Effective predator control is crucial so we don’t end up with wild kiwi limited to just a few intensively managed populations.
Who is doing it?
Many groups and individuals are involved in predator control and monitoring in New Zealand, including the Department of Conservation, private companies who supply traps, baits and poisons, Landcare Research and community kiwi conservation groups.
How does it work?
Over the years, best practices have been developed for controlling a range of animal pests. They identify the best technique and technology depending on the target species, the size of the area, the terrain, who is available to do the work, and other factors.
As well, it is important that humane kill traps are used, and that traps and poisons are laid in ways that do not accidentally kill kiwi and other native animals.
Best practices have also been developed to monitor what is happening in the environment. This can reveal what pests are about so that you know what control is needed, and they can tell you how successful any pest control work has been.