Rare lit­tle spot­ted kiwi re­leased at park

North Shore Times - - HOME & GARDEN - STAFF RE­PORTER

Twenty new lit­tle spot­ted kiwi (kiwi pukupuku) were re­leased at Shake­spear Open Sanc­tu­ary on March 4.

They have come from Kapiti Is­land to join the other co­hort of lit­tle spot­ted kiwi which were brought to the sanc­tu­ary last year.

The new kiwi will of­fer some ge­netic mix­ing to give the pop­u­la­tion its best chance of sur­vival, Auck­land Coun­cil se­nior ranger open sanc­tu­ar­ies Matt Mait­land said.

Just 45 min­utes north of the CBD around 550,000 peo­ple visit Shake­spear Re­gional Park each year.

Those visiting the park will be able to hear the kiwi call­ing, as they are very ter­ri­to­rial, Mait­land said.

All of the birds have been fit­ted with ra­dio trans­mit­ters and, for the next cou­ple of months, will be tracked and mon­i­tored ev­ery day by vol­un­teers.

In April 2017, 10 birds each from Kapiti Is­land and Tir­i­tiri Matangi Is­land were re­leased. These have set­tled in well, and in­di­ca­tions are that they’ve started breed­ing.

Un­til re­cently, these kiwi were only able to be translo­cated to five other is­lands. How­ever, with is­land sanc­tu­ar­ies now at ca­pac­ity, this new main­land pop­u­la­tion is crit­i­cal to their sur­vival, DOC translo­ca­tion project man­ager An­gus Hulme-Moir said.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the kiwi fol­lows the al­ready suc­cess­ful rein­tro­duc­tion of 40 gre­gar­i­ous

‘‘Those visiting the park will be able to hear the kiwi call­ing, as they are very ter­ri­to­rial.’’

Matt Mait­land, Auck­land Coun­cil

white­head and 40 North Is­land robin to the park over the last cou­ple of years. Both bird pop­u­la­tions have suc­cess­fully bred and can now be found through­out the park and along the Whanga­para¯ oa Penin­sula.

At the event on Saturday, park rangers, navy staff and Iwi all took turns to speak about the im­por­tance of the pro­gramme and how ex­cit­ing it is to have an­other 20 healthy kiwi re­leased into the park. Those at­tend­ing were able to see some of the birds up close be­fore they were re­turned to their boxes.

The Shake­spear Open Sanc­tu­ary is a part­ner­ship be­tween the Shake­spear Open Sanc­tu­ary So­ci­ety (Sossi) and Auck­land Coun­cil, and has the sup­port of the New Zealand De­fence Force, who also own land within the Sanc­tu­ary. Sossi is in need of vol­un­teers and sup­port­ers. Email info@sossi.org.nz to be in­volved.

DELWYN DICKEY

Sossi mem­ber Gin­nie Quar­tel with Min­nie Clark from Ngati Toa (Kapiti Is­land), where the birds all came from, and se­nior ranger Matt Mait­land.

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