Call count finds more kiwi

Our 2015 kiwi census results confirm that kiwi numbers have grown by 36% over the last decade since trapping began.

Ten years since the establishment of our Kiwi Sanctuary, we were curious to see if our kiwi population had grown. So in winter this year, volunteers came from near and far to complete a mammoth kiwi listening survey.

Kiwi have increased, with 36% more kiwi heard in our Kiwi Sanctuary than in 2005. This result is more meaningful when you compare this to the predicted 26% decline for unprotected populations of brown kiwi. The mean call count rate went from 1.2 to 2.1 calls/hr. 95 individual birds were detected at 19 listening sites.

Unfortunately, it was not all good news. Kiwi disappeared from three listening sites (north of Colville and inland from Tuateawa) where they were heard in 2005. This is concerning. We suspect uncontrolled dogs may be responsible. However, another three sites where no kiwi were heard in 2005 now have kiwi.

Kiwi seem to be doing better in several ‘hotspots’ with densities increasing faster at these locations. This may be for a number of reasons, including more intensive predator control at some of these sites and restricted access by dogs.

A big thanks to all the supportive landowners, our determined trappers and the army of volunteers who braved a chilly winter to obtain these results. If you would like to help with annual kiwi listening on the Coromandel email