23 Sept 19: Celebrating Save the Kiwi Month with a special kiwi release

On Friday, 4th October Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (SMM) and Kiwis for kiwi celebrate the second year of their Kōhanga kiwi agreement with the release of a kiwi chick. Over a five-year period, up to 500 Western Brown kiwi chicks are to be released all over Maungatautari. Through the agreement Maungatautari is a recognised kōhanga kiwi or nursery for the Western Brown kiwi.

The 2018/2019 season saw 38 kiwi chicks released, so with a goal of 90 chicks this season, it is going to be a level up in volume for SMM kiwi ranger, Craig Montgomerie and the team of volunteers.

The  chicks come from eggs collected in the wild, and will be incubated and hatched at one of three places -The National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua, Pukaha National Wildlife Centre at Mt Bruce, Waiarapa and the new kiwi hatchery facility Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow within the grounds of Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary north of Taupō.

The first kiwi chick hatched at the National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua in August and will be travelling an hour to get to SMM. It will then be checked over, ensuring it is in good health before its release to a predetermined area on the maunga.

At 3,400 hectares, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is the largest fenced sanctuary in New Zealand and has the capacity to house 680 pairs of kiwi and provide hundreds of juveniles each year to regions such as Taranaki and Tongariro. but the exact number of kiwi on Maungatautari is not know, but is estimated that there arealready 200-300 kiwi on the maunga  Thekiwi will remain on the maunga to safely grow and breed in the wild, with their offspringeventually being released to safe habitat in the wild, helping to grow the kiwi population, to return kiwi to areas they have disappeared from and to ensure genetics from across the region are preserved.

Kiwis for kiwi trust is a national charity supporting community-led and Māori-led kiwi conservation projects. Their vision is to take kiwi from endangered to everywhere.

We are hosting a special event, celebrating the start of the kiwi season and Save the Kiwi Month. This will be put on for our local community on Friday, 4th October.