Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A young dead male Northland brown kiwi was found by a group of dog walkers on Long Beach, Russell, Bay of Islands at 8 am on Saturday 9 June 2018.

Date:  02 July 2018

Dead male kiwi, found on Long Beach- bruises caused by dog
Photo: DOC

Kiwi handler, Steve McManus holding a young male kiwi at Long Beach, Russell, April 2018.
Photo: Terry Storey

One of the dog owners who found the kiwi rang the emergency DOC emergency hotline and reported the dead bird.

The Massey University autopsy report states that the damage to the bird “was consistent with a dog attack”.

The dog walker who found the bird was shocked to find out that the kiwi had been killed by a dog. She says, “All of us dog walkers who found the dead kiwi were devastated. To find that the kiwi was killed by a dog is really upsetting. As dog-owners in a kiwi area we need to be responsible; any dog can kill kiwi, all dog-owners need to have our dogs under control at all times.”   

David McKenzie, Chair Russell Landcare Trust says: “This is exactly what we have always feared would happen and are desperately trying to prevent. Here in Russell we are very lucky to have kiwi living all around us and among us; some lucky people even have them coming into their back yards at night. 

"We know that dogs are the biggest killers of kiwi in Northland and although most dog owners are good people and act responsibly, still some steadfastly refuse to believe their pets could kill a kiwi."

Helen Ough Dealy, Community Ranger, Pewhairangi/Bay of Islands DOC 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. It’s pretty special that if you live in the Bay of Islands, you are likely be living in a kiwi’s territory.

"If we want to keep having kiwi in our backyards all dog owners need to keep their dogs under control at all time. I also encourage everyone to do two things to help: provide a submission to the Far North District Council dog control bylaw which will be going out for public consultation soon and report any uncontrolled or roaming dogs to either DOC or Far North District Council animal control.” 

Background information

  • There are currently about 25,000 Northland brown kiwi. 
  • Uncontrolled dogs are the main killers of kiwi in Northland.
  • The DOC emergency hotline: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). 
  • Far North District Council animal control: 0800 920 029.
  • If a dog kill is suspected, place the kiwi in a fridge rather than a freezer and call 0800 DOC HOT as soon as possible.


Helen Ough Dealy, Community Ranger, Pewhairangi/Bay of Islands DOC Office
Phone: +64 9 407 0300
Mobile: +64 27 201 2695

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