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Waimarino Forest welcomes first kiwi chick

For Immediate Release

Waimarino Forest welcomes first kiwi chick

OHAKUNE, 25 October 2005: The first kiwi chick, ‘Poutahi’, to be released into the Waimarino Forest was welcomed last week after support from Enviro Research, Winstone Pulp International (WPI), Bushy Park and tangata whenua of Waimarino, Keith Wood, WPI Forest Resource Manager said.

“The discovery of Poutahi was a great boost to the work that has already been accomplished by WPI, Enviro Research, Waimarino iwi and Bushy Park,” says Keith Wood. “It encourages us to continue to monitor kiwi pairs and their resulting chicks.”

Onlookers watched as Michael Pehi-Littleton, one of the school children, set Poutahi free into a burrow in the Anini Reserve in the Waimarino Forest.

When found, Poutahi was half way to the ideal goal weight and Kerry Oates, Enviro Research Director, says that this shows kiwis are successfully breeding in the Waimarino Forest and this is a good sign for the future of the kiwi population.

Poutahi has spent the last few weeks under the care of Jo Thorne, Kiwi Manager, and the team at Bushy Park after being found in Waimarino Forest on 29 August.

Poutahi was found by Lance Dew, a specialist catcher, who was looking for kiwi pairs for a combined WPI, Enviro Research, and Bushy Park initiative to extend kiwi monitoring in the Waimarino Forest.

The return of kiwi chicks to Waimarino Forest, after six years of “Operation Nest Egg” is a milestone for kiwi recruitment in the forest, and will present some exciting new challenges for kiwi managers as they follow their progress and expected movement in the area.

A local hui was held on September 19 with iwi, Enviro Research, WPI, Bushy Park, and DoC representatives attending and agreeing that Enviro Research with support from WPI would continue to monitor adult pairs and release kiwi chicks into the Waimarino.

Bushy Park will also monitor five adult kiwis and resulting kiwis to be kept at the Parks crèche facility until they are re-released into Karioi Rahui.

With the two projects running side by side it is a “win-win” situation for kiwi regionally, with WPI being able to support the Karioi Rahui project and also return chicks back into Waimarino Forest.

Information on chick survival and movement is the missing link in finalising kiwi management for forest managers, and it is hoped that five chicks will be returned this season. This target seems likely with two more young chicks currently at the Kiwi Encounter facility at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua. Both hatched recently and are doing well. It is expected that these two new chicks will be released early in the new year.


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