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Launch Of The Kerikeri Kiwi Project

On Sunday, September 17th, Kerikeri is the place to be. Picturesque Aroha Island Ecological Reserve will host the birth of one of New Zealand’s leading community initiatives - the Kerikeri Kiwi Project. A community led pest control scheme, operated by local residents on a voluntary basis to help ensure the survival of New Zealand’s National icon, the kiwi.

The day long event, beginning at 10:00, offers the opportunity for local residents to get actively involved in the protection of kiwi by learning how to ensure that their land is “kiwi friendly.”

“We are keen for people to understand that every person living in or near a kiwi habitat can do something to help, even with very little extra effort.” Explained NZ Kiwi Foundation Convenor Greg Blunden.

Specialists in Kiwi protection will be on hand to discuss the wide range of protection options, including demonstrating the use of different types of traps to catch kiwi predators i.e., stoats, ferrets, possums and wild cats. Information and advice for residents on obtaining native plants, dealing with weed problems and information packs for protecting kiwi on your land will be available throughout the day.

“We hope the launch of the Kerikeri Kiwi Project at the open day on the 17th will provide the resources and motivation for the people of Kerikeri to get in behind the kiwi once and for all.” Commented Dr. Ray Pierce of the BNZ Recovery Programme. “Few other communities in New Zealand have such good numbers of kiwi so close to urban areas and this is a great opportunity for residents to learn how they can actively protect the remaining birds.”

People will also be given the rare opportunity to observe a trained “kiwi dog” at work and witness the examination and banding of a live kiwi. A Possum fur plucking machine, informative videos, activities for kids, sausage sizzle and drinks will all be on display during the day.

Initiated through a co-operative effort between local landowners, the NZ Kiwi Foundation, Aroha Island Ecological Centre (QE II National Trust) and the Department of Conservation, the Kerikeri Kiwi Project will concentrate on land known locally as the Kerikeri Peninsula which separates the Kerikeri and Te Puna Inlets.

Anyone interested in getting involved in Kiwi protection or to just learn more about the related issues are encouraged to attend - bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it.

For further details and information contact the Department Of Conservation, Kerikeri Office on 09 407 8474.

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