Kaweka kiwi at risk
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionHawke’s Bay’s largest kiwi population may be at risk from two dogs that are loose in the Kaweka Forest Park.
Date: 13 July 2018
The dogs entered the forest park on Sunday 1 July with their owner. They escaped from Little’s Clearing carpark and have not been seen since.
DOC Ahuriri-Napier ranger Rod Hansen says he is extremely concerned for the welfare of the kiwi, as these dogs have not been trained to avoid birds.
“Only avian avoidance trained, permitted dogs are allowed in the park and they must be under the control of their owner at all times.
“This means that the park’s kiwi are at even greater risk than they would be otherwise from a free roaming dog,” he says.
The dogs have been roaming the forest park for almost two weeks now which means they could have covered considerable ground.
“It is disappointing that DOC finds itself in this situation. Especially as DOC staff and volunteers have done extensive work over the years on cat and mustelid trapping to try and protect the kiwi in this area. These two dogs could undo the considerable amount of work people have done,” says Rod Hansen.
DOC Ahuriri-Napier Acting Operations Manager Moana Smith-Dunlop says dogs not under control can kill kiwi really easily.
“These birds are very fragile, it doesn’t take much of a bite or a dog mouthing them, to kill them. That is why people must be mindful that if they do take a permitted dog into the Kaweka Forest park they are entering kiwi territory,” she says.
DOC is now working with the owner to recover these animals urgently.
If anybody sights the dogs and has the opportunity to capture them safely, DOC asks that they please do so and let the Department’s Ahuriri-Napier office know.
DOC also asks that any sightings of the dogs be reported by phoning 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
The Kaweka kiwi programme has been operating since 1999. With numbers growing it is very important that predators are controlled, and dogs must be kiwi aversion trained.
If you are using a hunting dog in the Kaweka Forest Park, or take your dog anywhere kiwi may reside, contact the Ahuriri-Napier DOC office to register for training.
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