Date: 05 March 2012
The 2011 Northland kiwi listening results show the highest level of growth since listening records began.
“We recorded growth at all of the original core sites and at all but one of the 12 supplementary clusters,” says DOC Whangarei kiwi ranger Emma Craig.
“This is an absolutely fantastic result, much better than I would have hoped, and a real credit to all those people across Northland involved in kiwi call count monitoring, and kiwi conservation in general” says Ms Craig.
Kiwi are up against a lot of hurdles, and have a suite of predators including dogs, stoats, ferrets, and cats. Luckily, these predators can be addressed, and when they are, some kiwi populations are booming.
“We are seeing quite a few sites where kiwi conservation has been happening for less than a decade. Call rates had been increasing very slowly; then suddenly in 2011 they went through the roof,” explains Ms Craig.
She credits much of the increase to community groups protecting kiwi in their own back yards, and in particular good dog control. BNZ Operation Nest Egg has also helped to re-establish kiwi populations in some areas.
It is only the adult kiwi that call, so kiwi call count monitoring picks up population growth a couple of years after it has occurred.
Do you fancy sitting outside at the back of beyond, for two hours per night, for four nights, in the dark and cold, silently waiting for a bird that may or may not call?
Yes is the answer that many Northlanders give to that question in May and June each year, as part of the region-wide kiwi call count monitoring.
Remote monitoring of Northland’s kiwi has occurred since 1993, and now encompasses nearly 200 stations. The fantastic news is that all the hard work put in by hundreds of dedicated people, many of them volunteers, is finally starting to pay off.
Contact your local DOC office if you would like to know more about kiwi listening .