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Two NI brown kiwi female into Pukaha Forest

Two North Island brown kiwi female into Pukaha Forest

DOC ranger Darren
Page with Whiratea before she was released to Pukaha
DOC ranger Darren Page with Whiratea before she was released to Pukaha Forest.

5 June 2008

Two North Island brown kiwi female into Pukaha Forest

Two female North Island brown kiwi have been released into the restored forest at Pukaha Mt Bruce. There are now 18 birds living in the forest.

It is hoped that Hera and Whiratea, adopted and named by pupils of Greytown School and Fairfield School in Levin, will produce chicks for the BNZOperation Nest Egg programme for many years to come.

“We are committed to replenishing the forest with kiwi,” says Department of Conservation area manager Chris Lester.

“There have been some recent deaths that we have learned from and now we need to get on with getting kiwi back into the forest. We have world renowned pest control in and around the reserve. Breeding kiwi are essential to this project’s success and more females are needed in the forest.

It’s a delicate balancing act and the recent deaths show how vulnerable the birds are in the wild” says Chris Lester.

The restoration partners, DOC, Greater Wellington regional council and Horizon’s regional council met to debrief last month about the project. The group are committed to work together to ensure that the best efforts are made to ensure that the wildlife in the forest is well protected.

The forest restoration is one of the last remnants of the once magnificent 70 mile bush, which stretched from Masterton to Norsewood, supporting thousands of native birds, insects and reptiles. A big effort is now underway to restore the native dawn chorus to the forest which aside from kiwi includes other birds such as the kokako, kaka and morepork.

For more information on kiwi go to:

For more information on Pukaha Mt Bruce go to:

BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust was established in November 2002 by Bank of New Zealand and the Department of Conservation, building on a sponsorship relationship that started in 1991. BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust is responsible for public awareness and education, fundraising, sponsorship and grant allocations for kiwi recovery nationally. In 2007 alone, $760,000 was allocated to community and DOC kiwi projects. This money came from BNZ, its staff, customers and supporters of BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust.

BNZOperation Nest Egg™ is a powerful tool to reverse the decline of key kiwi populations. Eggs and chicks are harvested from nests to save them from stoats and cats. The young kiwi are returned to the wild when they weight about 1kg, big enough to fight off these predators. More than 800 kiwi chicks have been returned to the wild since the programme began in 1994, with captive facilities and hundreds of field workers from DOC and community groups throughout the country contributing to its success. The BNZ Operation Nest Egg™ egg harvesting>chick rearing>return to the wild technique was developed through research funded solely by Bank of New Zealand and is now also used in other species recovery programmes.


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