Shakespear’s newest residents
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 trans-located 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 at the time of the release.
The introduction of the kiwi follows the already successful reintroduction of 40 gregarious 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 the event 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be involved.
Ginnie Quartel, Minnie Clark from Ngati Toa (Kapiti Island) and senior ranger Matt Maitland.