Local children visit our Nocturnal Kiwi exhibit at the Coromandel BNZ to celebrate the first Save Kiwi Week.

About 200 children from local early childhood centres and Coromandel Area school came through the Kiwi exhibit last week. They were taken into a darkened room, and given torches to spot taxidermied kiwi hidden amongst foliage. A fort-like tent was pitched in one corner with footage of kiwi in the wild projected onto the wall.

The aim was to capture the imaginations of locals, many of whom will never get to see a kiwi in the wild. “Kiwi are nocturnal, which means they are difficult to observe in the wild. I’m hoping this exhibit has helped raise awareness about these special birds” says organiser, Natalie Collicott. The display proved very popular and many children came back for a second look.

Moehau Environment Group volunteers also held a street stall with traps for sale and information on their group, which protects kiwi in the hills behind Coromandel town and further north. Local businesses also got behind the campaign, to help raise funds for kiwi protection.

Moehau Environment Group is facing a funding shortfall for their Kiwi Sanctuary this year, which has meant they have had to reduce the ammount of stoat trapping they undertake.

“The work that Moehau Environment Group and other conservation groups do is crucial to kiwi’s survival. Without protection from predators, kiwi could be extinct within our lifetime” said Moehau Environment Group Coordinator Natalie Collicott.

Save Kiwi Week ran from October 14-20th and was organised by Kiwis for kiwi, a charitable trust dedicated to kiwi conservation. All money raised from the event will go to kiwi conservation. Moehau Environment Group raised $1220 by raffling donated items on trademe.

“Save Kiwi Week is about raising funds for predator control. In areas that are actively managed, kiwi survival rate increases from five to 60 percent. We can reverse the decline. With support from two-legged Kiwis, our bird can flourish.” says Kiwis for kiwi executive director, Michelle Impey.

The Coromandel Peninsula has a current population of around 1500 Brown kiwi.