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$11.2m to secure the future of the kiwi

21 May 2015

$11.2m to secure the future of the kiwi

New Zealand’s most famous bird, the kiwi, will receive $11.2 million of operating funding over the next four years in an effort to arrest its serious ongoing decline in the wild.

Wild kiwi numbers are falling by 2 per cent a year and the bird could be extinct on the mainland in our grandchildren’s lifetimes, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

The aim of the investment is to turn the 2 per cent decline into an annual increase as soon as possible.

“Kiwi are known around the world as a symbol of New Zealand. They are a famous and precious taonga and integral to our national identity,” Ms Barry says. “If we don’t do more now to halt their decline, we risk losing wild kiwi forever.”

Introduced predators such as stoats and ferrets are the main threat to kiwi populations, even in the species' mainland strongholds.

The programme will be a managed partnership between the Department of Conservation and Kiwis For Kiwi, an independent charitable trust which will help to allocate money and co-ordinate community conservation projects such as pest trapping and bird monitoring.

In addition, the investment will fund breeding programmes, the expansion of existing community conservation work, increased use of DOC predator controls and investigation of new methods of kiwi management.

The package also includes funding to explore the expansion of the “kōhanga kiwi” network, where young birds are raised in protected sanctuaries before release back into the wild.

"No one government department or organisation can reverse the decline – it needs to be a national effort. Getting people across the country involved with kiwi conservation could secure the future of our national bird,” Ms Barry says.


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