Southern Coromandel Kiwi ‘hotspot’ disappears

A survey has found that a known kiwi “hotspot” in the Southern Coromandel appears to have all but disappeared.

In the 1990’s an area behind Opoutere and Whangamata was considered a kiwi “hotspot”. The Department of Conservation is currently undertaking a survey in the area to determine kiwi presence. Sadly, the current search has not found any birds so far.

A survey in the 1990s confirmed that kiwi were present throughout the Coromandel Peninsula. Successful kiwi protection by community groups such as Moehau Environment Group and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have concentrated on the Northern Coromandel. Unfortunately, the southern population has not benefited from similar initiatives. Kiwi are vulnerable to predation by stoats and dogs, but where these threats are managed, kiwi thrive. Without predator control, the birds have little chance of survival and face extinction in the wild.

DOC want to hear from anyone who have heard kiwi calling in the Southern Coromandel. They are particularly interested in hearing of kiwi in between Waiomu and the Karangahake Gorge. Locating remnant populations will provide information to the Department, community groups and landowners on where predator control to protect kiwi is best focused, and help identify at-risk kiwi that can be moved to safer habitat.

If you have heard kiwi call in the southern half of the Coromandel between Waiomu and the Karangahake Gorge, contact the DOC Hauraki Area Office on O7 867 9182 or 07 867 9180.