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Forestry Industry Helps Grow Kiwi Population

Forestry Industry Helps Grow Kiwi Population

A new set of guidelines to help forest owners protect kiwi will help increase kiwi population numbers across New Zealand.

The guidelines, created by Kiwis for kiwi’s National Mentor for Advocacy, Wendy Sporle, have also been developed into a short training module to educate forestry crews about on-the-ground kiwi management.

Wendy Sporle has been a Northland farm forester for 40 years and has decades of forestry and kiwi management experience.

“Many forestry companies are very proactive about protecting kiwi and doing a fantastic job. There is still a need though for a set of consistent, practical and effective steps that can be taken to adopt kiwi friendly forestry management across the board,” says Ms Sporle.

“Having a document that sits in the office does not help the people who are on the ground in the forest so we are launching a training module for forestry companies to train their staff, helping them to identify signs of kiwi, what to do if they are present in their forest and emergency procedures.”

The guidelines were developed with collaboration by DOC kiwi specialists, kiwi practitioners and forest managers.

“To be successful, we know this has to work for everyone and the training modules are easy to use and quick to deliver. We want all forest workers to know how to operate within a kiwi’s environment and what to do if they come across an injured bird.”

The guidelines include information about kiwi, how to identify their presence, threats to their habitat and key management recommendations. Avoiding fires and burning slash piles, predator control and controlling dog access are key areas that can have a massive positive impact on kiwi.

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Michelle Impey, Executive Director of Kiwis for kiwi, the national charity that supports community-led kiwi conservation projects, says forestry companies can assist hugely with protecting kiwi habitats and the tools that have been created will help them meet their Forest Stewardship obligations.

“Kiwi live and thrive in production forests and what we have delivered is a realistic set of guidelines to help forest owners operate without any negative impact on kiwi or their environment.

“We are always looking for practical solutions for people and industries to help protect kiwi and the forestry industry is a key player in kiwi recovery. If everyone contributes it will help us meet our target of 100,000 kiwis by 2030,” says Ms Impey.

Northland forestry companies have begun rolling out the training to harvesting and roading crews and the programme will extend to the rest of New Zealand.

About Kiwis for kiwi

Kiwis for kiwi, a fully independent charity, aims to protect kiwi and their natural habitat, ensuring the species flourish for generations to come. It allocates funds to hands-on kiwi projects, raises sponsorship dollars, increases public awareness of the plight of kiwi and works alongside kiwi experts to provide resources, advice and best practice guidance to all those working to save kiwi. In partnership with Department of Conservation, Kiwis for kiwi supports the national Kiwi Recovery Programme. For more information: www.kiwisforkiwi.org

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