DoC’s new North Island kiwi plan

Wednesday 6 Mar 2019

Landowners join 33,000 ha in new North Island kiwi plan - The Department of Conservation has approved a $411,000 plan by a leading Hawke’s Bay conservation trust to release up to 200 kiwi in the 11,400ha Pohokura Forest between 2019 and 2024. The move is an important third step in an ambitious plan to control predators and establish self-sustaining populations of North Island Brown Kiwi across a contiguous, 33,000 ha swathe of the central North Island.

The first kiwi was released at the property today in a ceremony led by Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust Chairman Simon Hall and attended by DOC officials, representatives of tangata whenua and conservationists from across the Hawke’s Bay region.

Pohokura is managed by the Trust. It lies to the north of State Highway 5 between Taupo and Napier and adjoins the privately-owned Ngatapa Station (9,515ha), which in turn sits alongside the Trust’s other properties in the Maungataniwha Native Forest (6,120ha) and the Maungataniwha Pine Forest (6,294ha), which is being restored to native bush in the largest project of its kind in the country.

The green light for the Trust to restock Pohokura with kiwi follows a decision last year by the owners of Ngatapa Station to start kiwi conservation and a comprehensive predator trapping programme there, and achievement of the Trust’s decade-long ambition to establish a viable kiwi population at Maungataniwha.

The impact of the conservation work now happening on all three properties is magnified by significant kiwi and whio restoration programmes underway in the Whirinaki Conservation Forest north-east of Pohokura.

The Trust achieved a viable population of kiwi at Maungataniwha in June last year. It plans to repeat the achievement at Pohokura, releasing up to 40 kiwi there each year for five years, or until 200 kiwi have been released. The primary source of kiwi will be juveniles from Maungataniwha, incubated and reared as part of the national Operation Nest Egg kiwi conservation initiative. Some may also be sourced from other appropriate locations within the eastern brown kiwi region.

The reintroduction started today with the release at Pohokura of the 300th Kiwi reared as part of the Trust’s involvement in Operation Nest Egg. It will be accompanied by extensive predator control work.

Kiwi conservation work at Pohokura will be funded primarily by the Trust, with specialist not-for-profit provider OSPRI undertaking pest management work to the value of $160,000 and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council contributing trapping equipment worth $11,500.

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Source: Scoop News

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