Stage one – stocking kōhanga
Step five – relocating chicks to kōhanga
At around three weeks old, when they are eating properly and are fit and healthy, chicks can be moved to a kōhanga site. These are either predator-free islands or fully-fenced mainland sites where kiwi chicks are safe from their main predators – stoats.
There are four different types, or taxa, of North Island brown kiwi, which is the species we are working with in the Saving the Kiwi strategy, and these are all managed separately. This means that they have different kōhanga sites.
Coromandel brown kiwi use Motutapu Island; Western brown kiwi use Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari and we are working to identify suitable kōhanga for Northland brown kiwi and Eastern brown kiwi.
As kōhanga are bound by either water or fence, they have a limit to the number of kiwi that they can hold, considering the size of territory each bird needs. Stage one of the Saving the Kiwi strategy will be completed when each kōhanga reaches its capacity, which we aim to do by 2022. Then it’s on to stage two.