More warn­ing signs af­ter kiwi death

Taupo Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

New road signs have been put up to try and stop New Zealand’s na­tional bird from be­com­ing road kill.

The death of a Kiwi - hit by a car near Rau­rimu in June - has re­sulted in the NZ Trans­port Agency plac­ing more signs in and around Ton­gariro Na­tional Park.

Bio­di­ver­sity ser­vices ranger Jenny Hay­ward said it was cool to see more signs up around the area in­clud­ing Rau­rimu.

‘‘There have been re­ported sight­ings of Kiwi cross­ing down there.

‘‘It’s about us­ing your com­mon sense and putting your foot off the gas and be­ing a bit more wary, you don’t know, you might save a kiwi.’’

New bright yel­low kiwi signs with the mes­sage ’Kiwi’s cross­ing at night’ have been put back onto sig­nage af­ter be­ing re­moved sev­eral years ago.

Se­nior ranger Stacey Faire said signs have been placed on both sides of the road com­ing into the Ton­gariro Na­tional Park.

A stolen sign has now been re­placed down Bruce Rd.

Signs have been placed on ei­ther side of State High­way 47, where a kiwi is known to fre­quently cross in the Ton­gariro For­est and Na­tional Park.

‘‘What hap­pens is when they’re young, they bounce around and when they get older they set­tle in an area un­til then they are just con­stantly ping pong­ing across any area and of course, in their mind, the road isn’t there and they are roam­ing their ter­ri­tory and parts of it are tar­mac. ‘‘You’d be sur­prised how close they are to the road which we’d pre­fer they don’t.’’

Faire said it was a timely re­minder es­pe­cially as Oc­to­ber was Save Kiwi Month.

DOC staff would like to hear from any­one who sees a kiwi or finds signs have been re­moved or dam­aged.

Hay­ward said peo­ple don’t need to worry if they ac­ci­den­tally hit a kiwi but it was im­por­tant for DOC staff to be no­ti­fied.

NZ Trans­port Agency Me­dia man­ager Liz Banas said they would be work­ing closely with the Ruapehu District Coun­cil and DOC in­stalling more signs if needed.

‘‘Mean­while our main­te­nance con­trac­tors are aware of the clean­li­ness of the Ton­gariro Na­tional Park signs and have pro­grammed the works to re­place them or have them cleaned.’’

PHOTO: FRANCES FER­GU­SON / STUFF

DOC Ranger Jenny Hay­ward is happy to see more signs warn­ing mo­torist to watch out for ki­wis.

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