Where is your dog? Dogs that roam kill our kiwi

Community groups protecting kiwi populations on the Coromandel Peninsula have come together during the busy visitor season to remind folk with dogs to be aware of the danger they pose to kiwis.

If you live near a place where wild kiwi live, or are visiting the Coromandel, you can help us protect our kiwi by making sure dogs are tied up at night, and in sight or tied up during the day. If you’re in the bush, keep your dog on a lead at all times. Free kiwi avoidance training for dogs is being offered around the Coromandel throughout January. Click here for details.

Kiwi have no chance against any dog. “A dog can catch and kill a kiwi in seconds, without its owner knowing about it or before its owner has time to stop it”, says Moehau Environment Group Coordinator, Natalie Collicott. Research shows that any dog can kill kiwi. In fact smaller breeds like terriers are the most likely offenders. The worst known case was in Waitangi Forest in 1987, when one dog, left to roam, is thought to have killed more than 500 of the 900 kiwi living in the forest.

Nationally, the kiwi is in trouble and at risk of becoming extinct in the wild within 30 years if nothing is done. Of eggs that hatch, about 90% of kiwi chicks are dead within 6 months and most of these are killed by stoats, dogs or cats.

Thanks to responsible dog ownership and years of stoat trapping by community group volunteers and DOC, things are looking more positive on the Coromandel. We have the highest survival rate for kiwi chicks on the mainland and our adult kiwi in managed areas are breeding. Please help protect kiwi this summer. The fate of kiwi is in our hands.