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Kiwis for kiwi welcomes $11.2m to help save Kiwi

Kiwis for kiwi welcomes $11.2m to help save our national icon

Kiwis for kiwi welcomes today’s budget announcement of $11.2 million in funding over the next four years to help halt the decline of our national icon, but says funding from other sources is also needed if kiwi are to be saved from extinction.

Kiwis for kiwi, a national charity that funds and supports community-led kiwi conservation projects, will manage the programme of work in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC), to turn the current two percent annual decline in our kiwi population to an annual increase.

Pest and predator control, Operation Nest Egg, dog control and training programmes as well as education, community engagement and advocacy will all get a much-needed funding boost.

“It’s a sad fact that the kiwi could be extinct in a few generations,” says executive director of Kiwis for kiwi Michelle Impey. She says to save the species more will be needed than what is in this budget. In addition to talking to philanthropic foundations and corporates, Kiwis for kiwi is fundraising year-round and especially during Save the Kiwi Month in October every year.

“Despite gains in some areas, wild kiwi numbers in New Zealand continue to decline, and the national population now numbers just 70,000 with an average of 27 kiwi killed by predators every week.

“There are currently more than 90 community-led kiwi conservation groups in New Zealand involving thousands of passionate Kiwis working in their local communities, often in their own time and with their own money to protect kiwi,” she says.

“These groups are making a huge difference and we know where the work is being done, kiwi numbers are increasing. This funding will help these groups to continue their good work.

In areas where predators are controlled, 50 to 60 per cent of chicks survive. When areas are not under management, 95 per cent of kiwi die before reaching breeding age of approximately three years old.

“We believe community-led conservation is the way of the future and our best chance of saving the kiwi – we just need to do more of it,” says Ms Impey.

“This funding enables us to take a big step forward in helping to secure the future of kiwi so they are still around in our children’s and our grandchildren’s lifetime.”

Ends.

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