Three kiwi released in Tutukaka
The kiwi population on the Tutukaka Coast is expanding with three new birds released into the area and news that an earlier kiwi released there is sitting on an egg.
Tutukaka Coast’s wild kiwi population has been enriched with a further three birds released at Tawapou Farm near Matapouri late last month.
The release came just as local conservation volunteers confirmed that a male kiwi released nearby two years ago has at last found a mate and begun the long process of incubating an egg.
More than 150 people turned out to the latest release which began with a karakia and welcome to visitors, including a group of keen iwi volunteers who had travelled from Warawara in the North Hokianga.
Tutukaka Landcare Coalition coordinator Mike Camm said locals were thrilled to welcome the three new kiwi to Tutukaka.
“It may be a bit of a wha- nau reunion as they are likely to meet up with some of their cousins previously released here over the years,” Camm said.
“The karakia beside the release burrows gave all of us there a sense of the significance of place and time of these precious taonga.”
The Tutukaka Coalition, which is part of the greater Northland-wide Kiwi Coast project, has extended its predator trapping regime to cover around 10,000 hectares of local coast and hinterland. Annual kiwi call count monitoring confirms that kiwi numbers in this area are steadily rising.
The three released kiwi were graduates of the Matakohe-limestone Island kiwi cre` che in the Whanga- rei harbour.
One of the birds released was given the name Fomli after the community group that manages the island cre` che — Friends of Matakohe Limestone Island.
Another was called Kim and the third was named Harry, perhaps influenced by the faint hint of redness that in the right lighting can be seen in the pattern of his Northland brown kiwi feathers.
All three birds were fitted with small radio transmitters that will allow local volunteers to track their movements as they settle into their new surrounds.
Handler Emma Craig (Matakohe-limestone Island Ranger) shows Fomli the kiwi to the crowd.