Kiwi deaths at Pukaha
We are saddened to let you know that we are currently dealing with a suspected ferret incursion at Pukaha with the death of 7 kiwi (3 juvenile and 4 adult) since March 2015. The juvenile kiwi deaths include the two white kiwi hatched in the wild in February this year.
The Department of Conservation, which looks after predator control at Pukaha, has stepped up its trapping regime and consulted a number of experts, both within DoC and the wider predator control community, to ensure everything possible is being done to stop this predation event. This includes changing the type of bait in traps and the frequency that the traps are serviced.
While this event is without doubt a setback, we are confident that the predator control programme in place throughout the reserve and in the buffer zone around it will continue to make our unfenced reserve as safe as possible for our birds.
While the programme gives kiwi and other native species the best possible start, we cannot ensure their complete safety and have to accept that there will always be losses.
The sad loss of these kiwi has been a blow to our staff and the Pukaha community. Kiwi have a precarious existence and there will always be loss of life as has been seen in fenced and unfenced predator-protected reserves in New Zealand. It makes us even more determined to continue with our long-term aim of a self-sustaining kiwi population at Pukaha.
Since the Pukaha Forest Restoration project began in 2002, 3 endangered native bird species have been successfully reintroduced and are thriving – North Island Brown Kiwi, North Island Kaka and North Island Kokako.
We are grateful for your ongoing support.
Helen Tickner General Manager.