Rare kiwi is a star attraction

Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre is reaping the financial rewards of having little white kiwi Manukura within its walls, with more than 1000 visitors paying to see him since he began public viewings only a month ago.

The kiwi, now two months old, attracted huge national and international attention when he was born at the centre from two North Island brown kiwi on May 1.

He was introduced to the world on May 26 and in the following two weeks was visited by 700 people.

His pure white colouring was the result of a recessive gene and he was believed to be the first all-white kiwi born in captivity. His parents were taken from Little Barrier Island, where there were a few other white kiwi and several with white patches.

Manukura could be viewed at the centre on Sundays only because of his nocturnal nature.

Field centre supervisor at Pukaha Mt Bruce, Kathy Houkamau, said the interest in Manukura had been incredible, with visitor numbers for June up 25 per cent from last year, but she could not put a figure on the financial impact.

“He’s pretty much tipped our world on its ear, it’s had a huge impact,” she said.

“It is helping with our revenue at a time of the year when we don’t expect it; it helps us to pay the bills.”

Winter was usually quiet at the centre, but the combination of a star attraction and mild weather had brought people to the centre in their droves.

People were learning more about kiwi and the challenges they faced through their experience with Manukura and were inspired to learn more.

Manukura had his own Facebook page with more than 1000 fans already, and he was generating a lot of interest off-shore.

One foreign visitor even wanted to buy Manukura as a pet for his mother – a request that was politely declined.

Many people inquired about whether or not another white kiwi could be born if the same parents were to breed again.

Ms Houkamau said the chances were quite slim.

“There is a good chance they will breed again,” she said. “There was no way we could’ve ever planned him [to be all white].”

 

story on stuff.co.nz

White kiwi chick graduates from nursery

Thursday, 2 June 2011, 12:13 pm
Press Release: Pukaha Mount Bruce

White kiwi chick

Manukura, the white kiwi chick hatched on 1 May at Pukaha Mount Bruce, yesterday got its first feel for the outside world when it graduated from the centre’s kiwi house nursery to an outdoor enclosure in the forest reserve.

After reaching its required weight and all the expected milestones, including eating on its own, the chick was moved to a predator-proof enclosure in the Pukaha native reserve where 12 other chicks have been raised this season.

Manukura was the 13th of 14 kiwi chicks hatched at the National Wildlife Centre this breeding season, the most successful there ever. The 14thchick remains will remain in the kiwi house nursery for the next week.

Thought to be the first white kiwi chick hatched in captivity, Manukura will remain in the outdoor enclosure for the next 4-6 months subject to its behaviour and welfare. Visitors to the centre will be able to see the special kiwi each Sunday at 2pm after he has been weighed by Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers.

When the fertile egg was retrieved from the Pukaha native forest and brought into captivity with others to be incubated and hatched, DoC staff at the national wildlife centre had no inkling as to what was inside. When he saw the white chick hatch, captive breeding ranger Darren Page said his first thought was “oh this one’s going to create a stir.”

Pukaha Mount Bruce manager Kathy Houkamau said staff excitement and global interest in Manukura had been matched by that of visitors on seeing the white chick. “We have had good crowds through over the past week and people have been genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to see it. People see it as a sign of good things.”

A Facebook page to track Manukura’s progress has been set up by the centre.

Background information and photos on scoop.co.nz

Rare all-white kiwi chick caps a spectacular breeding season

Press Release: Pukaha

We are delighted to let you be the first to know of the hatching of a white kiwi chick at Pukaha. As far as we know this is the first hatched in captivity and definitely the first hatched at Pukaha. This exciting event marks the end of the most successful kiwi breeding season in Pukaha’s history with a total of 14 chicks hatched.

The all-white chick is not an albino but the rare offspring off kiwi that were transferred from Little Barrier Island to Pukaha in May last year. The intention of the transfer was to increase the kiwi gene pool and grow the population in the long-term so we are delighted with this great result. The chick is a North Island Brown kiwi that is white.

Local iwi and Pukaha Mount Bruce partner, Rangitane o Wairarapa, has named the chick Manukura which means chiefly status. Rangitane chief executive and Pukaha board member, Jason Kerehi, said tribal elders saw the white chick as a tohu or a sign of new beginnings.

“Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is. While we are celebrating all 14 kiwi hatched this year, Manukura is a very special gift.”

Your chance to see Manukura in our kiwi house

Manukura will be in the kiwi nursery until the end of May where you may view it being weighed daily at 2.00pm. It will remain in captivity with our other chicks for at least four to six months and there will be the opportunity to for regular viewings while it is being cared for. The health and safety of this very special chick is our priority.

Please feel free to phone ahead to make sure it is available. We would love to see you.

www.pukaha.org.nz

Recovery programmes slow kiwi’s decline

Kiwi recovery programmes are proving their worth even though the national population of the threatened bird continues to decline, Conservation Department science officer Rogan Colbourne says.

Mr Colbourne has been part of the BNZ Operation Nest Egg scheme. The Hawke’s Bay group released its 100th young North Island brown kiwi into the Kaweka Ranges on Thursday.

Nationally the kiwi population is thought to be falling by about 6 per cent a year, but Mr Colbourne said local programmes were making a difference, in some cases having increased the local population.

“At Okarito [on the West Coast] they have increased the population from 150 to more than 300,” he said.

In Hawke’s Bay, with a kiwi population of fewer than 1000, the addition of 100 young birds since 2003 was significant. Kiwi lived on average to 40 – and even to 60 – if there were no predators.

In these programmes, eggs are taken from the wild and incubated, then the hatchlings are kept in a predator-proof environment till considered big enough to fend for themselves in the wild.

“There is a 90 per cent hatch rate with these eggs, compared with only 50 per cent in the wild, for various reasons,” Mr Colbourne said.

“Possums can eat the eggs, the adults can damage them accidentally, and there can be bacteria after rainfall.

“Once hatched [in captivity] about 80 per cent reach the sub-adult stage and once they are released about two-thirds survive in the wild, though that varies from area to area.”

Of kiwi hatched in the wild, only about 5 per cent survived to become adults, as predators such as stoats, ferrets and feral cats ate the young birds. Ferrets and dogs could kill adults, and dogs were a particular worry in Northland.

About 15 recovery groups were operating in the North Island, with assistance from DOC and other organisations, Mr Colbourne said.

The Hawke’s Bay group is led by the Environment, Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust.

Spokesman Alastair Bramley said the survival rate for the kiwi released in Hawke’s Bay was about two-thirds overall, but it had been up at 90 per cent till an outbreak of ferret attacks in 2008.

“We haven’t lost any since then,” he said.

Dogs were not such a big problem in Hawke’s Bay because hunters there had to put their dogs through kiwi aversion training before they could register them, Mr Bramley said.

The 100th kiwi has been named Parauri and was released in the Kawekas after a ceremony at the Pan Pac Kiwi Creche, inland from Tutira.

Original story

Climate change increases value of native plant

Monday, 21 December 2009, 11:12 am
Press Release: NZ Plant Conservation Network

Climate change increases value of Kiwi native plant

The golden sand sedge – pingao – has won the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network’s 2009 favourite plant poll, and could be a valuable defence against climate change effects.

The pingao topped more than 100 species in the annual poll. Network President Philippa Crisp said that pingao would become increasingly important in combating the effects of climate change, particularly as an increasing number of coastal homes came under threat

“If the global plan to fight climate change stalls and sea level rises occur, pingao will become even more important to New Zealanders because it plays an important role in stabilising sand dunes and creating a beach contour that is not so vulnerable to storm events and sea level rises,” Dr Crisp said. “Pingao may be our only sustainable hope for coastal protection”.

full media release on scoop.co.nz

NZ On Screen, The Nature Collection

nature-topper

NZ Nature on screen

To celebrate NZ’s unique natural taonga, Peter Hayden has curated a highlights collection from three decades of NHNZ productions. Aotearoa’s landforms and its magnificent menagerie of natural oddities – birds, insects, trees like nowhere else on the planet – are showcased in 15 award-winning titles. From Discovery Channel and David Bellamy, to Wild South and Our World classics.

Read More ›

http://www.nzonscreen.com/collection/nature

Kiwi discovered in outer space

Media release from Mt John Observatory, Lake Tekapo
28 September 2009

91d15477e2ff86be42c3.jpeg

click for bigger version

An astrophotographer has discovered a kiwi in outer space from New Zealand’s internationally renowned Mt John Observatory.

It may be 26,000 light years away but a high powered astro-photograph has picked up the distinct image of New Zealand’s national icon in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy.

The incredible image of the flightless bird was captured by experienced photographer Fraser Gunn. Mr Gunn, who has recently begun astrophotography with Earth and Sky Stargazing Tours at Lake Tekapo’s Mt John Observatory, is delighted with the discovery.

“When looking at the area with the naked eye it’s difficult to locate the kiwi but my camera allows greater light and colour into the image giving it more definition.

“We only started the astrophotography tour six weeks ago to complement our stargazing tours and the response so far has been outstanding. Basically, I provide instruction to anyone with a SLR-type camera so they obtain their own starlight pictures,” he says.

Graeme Murray, director of Earth and Sky Tours, says Fraser has become a leader in New Zealand astrophotography and is fast gaining international acclaim.

Full media realease on Scoop: Kiwi discovered in outer space

Longer breeding season provides new hope for the kiwi

New hope for the kiwi

It might be down to global warming or just a couple of shorter winters on the trot, but whatever the reason, the kiwi breeding season is getting longer – the kiwi bird that is.

That is good news for those working to ensure the survival of the North Island brown kiwi as Ali Ikram found out.

Watch TV3 video

Kiwi sanctuary helping against extinction

TV3 > News > Weather/Environment News > Story > Kiwi sanctuary helping against extinction

They have been nothing more than a distant memory in the Auckland region for more than half a century, but now, kiwis are set to make a return.

Forty of the birds have been transported to the Tawharanui sanctuary from an outlying island.

When a kiwi is lifted from a box the sound is always the same.

Not from the bird, but from people seeing one close up for the first time – ‘Oooh’ and ‘ahhhhh!’

But our national bird is still in great danger of disappearing forever.

One of the biggest threats has always been dogs.

Back in the 1980s a single dog killed 400 kiwis in Northland.

‘Just one dog, so they can be enormously destructive and adult kiwi just don’t have any defence against dogs,’ says Tim Lovegrove, a National Heritage scientist

full story

New homes lined up in bid to rescue rare kiwi

Dozens of rare West Coast kiwi may be moved away from their ancestral homes to islands in the Hauraki Gulf and Foveaux Strait in a desperate attempt to save the species from extinction.

The Department of Conservation says it has to create back-up populations, away from stoats, to avert extinction.

Although some Haast and Okarito Rowi kiwi chicks are already raised away from predators, they are returned to their home forest in South Westland when they are large enough to fight off stoats.

Under new proposals, DoC wants to move breeding pairs of Okarito birds to the sub-tropical Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf, near Auckland, and up to 10 Haast birds to Rarotoka Island, in Foveaux Strait.

full story

Rare kiwi thriving on Tiritiri Matangi

Rare kiwi thriving on Tiritiri Matangi: Media releases

Little spotted kiwi have more than doubled in number on their Hauraki Gulf island home in the last five years, according to the results of a recent Department of Conservation survey.

The population of kiwi on Tiritiri Matangi has grown to more than 60 (estimated at 60-80 birds) from about 30 birds in 2002.

DOC scientist Dr Hugh Robertson, who led the survey, said the population was growing strongly, and was as good as could be expected.

“They seem to grow faster on Tiritiri than on other islands due to the rich soils and lack of rats.”

Simon Fordham, chairman of the community group Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi and part of the survey team, said how valuable the experience had been.

“Working with such a unique bird was a real treat and a great opportunity to help with its recovery.” full media release

Native birds under threat. tv3 video

click on the image of john campbell  for direct link to tv3 video

In a few days it will be spring and the birds will be in full song.

But in some parts of the country it will be an extremely muted song.

In fact there are now areas known as ‘bird deserts’ where there are virtually no native birds.

We know these regions exist because birdwatchers have just spent five years in the field finding out how many birds there are, and where they live – information for the latest edition of the New Zealand Bird Atlas.

Richard Langston with a story on the plight of our birds.
link

OSNZ publishes significant scientific resource

Scoop: OSNZ publishes significant scientific resource

Scientific knowledge about New Zealand birdlife took a great leap forward today as the Ornithological Society of New Zealand published the Atlas of Bird Distribution in New Zealand 1999-2004.

The atlas was launched today at Government House in Wellington by the Administrator of the Government, Rt. Hon. Dame Sian Elias. Birds are some of the best natural indicators of the health of our environment – an environment we like to promote as clean and green.

President of the Ornithological Society, Professor Richard Holdaway said that the bird distribution atlas has demonstrated dramatic and rapid changes in bird distribution in all parts of the country since the 1970s. As land use has changed, so have the communities of bird species in those areas.

Examples of this included areas that have changed from exotic forest to dairying, and areas that have reverted from cleared land to native scrub. Species that did well in the first habitat have been pushed out as the land was converted. Atlas project Convenor, Christopher Robertson notes that “Green in colour we may be, but these atlas surveys continue to demonstrate that some of that greenness is both increasingly monocultural, and the battleground of territorial invaders among the avifauna. New Zealand endemics are retreating to enclaves where introduced mammalian predators increasingly threaten the food supply, productivity, and individuals of remnant species.”    more

http://osnz.org.nz/

Science Supports Forest Regeneration

 

A kereru fitted with transmitter

Scientific research being carried out in the Ngāi Tūhoe forests in
the central North Island is delivering valuable knowledge about
indigenous forest ecosystems and giving Maori landowners tools to
restore and preserve their native forest resource.

Over the past four years, Landcare Research scientists have been
working with the Tuawhenua Trust, to investigate why some canopy tree
species in the mainly forest-covered 10,000 hectares of land which is
dotted through the Urewera National Park and are managed by the Trust,
are not regenerating adequately.
more

The Goodnight Kiwi

The Goodnight Kiwi was a animated short used to signal the end of the broadcast day on Television New Zealand channels,before they went 24hrs.It Aired from 1980/81 till October 19,1994.Its a classic.Also the song playing is a instrumental arrangement of traditional Māori song,”Hine e Hine” composed by Fannie Rose Howie (1868-1916) in 1905.

Kiwi death prompts call for tighter leash on dogs

Kiwi death prompts call for tighter leash on dogs: Media release

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.nzbirds.com/birds/img/kiwibrownb1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A fatal dog attack on a Stewart Island brown kiwi / tokoeka has highlighted the need for dog owners to be keep their animals under control at all times.

The Department of Conservation was alerted to the incident by a member of the public who found the dead kiwi lying on Traill Park, opposite the Oban police station on Stewart Island / Rakiura.

Stewart Island field centre supervisor Sharon Pasco described the kiwi’s death as disappointing and preventable.

“In recent years kiwi have been making an appearance around the town with many locals either seeing them or hearing them in their own gardens, but this kiwi population is only small in number, making this loss a real blow.” more

Karori Sanctuary, tour by torchlight

Spotting ‘little spots’ on Wellington’s wildest night out

Sanctuary Entry Gates

Wellington’s wildest night out just got even better! Throughout July and August, we are running a special two-for-one deal on our unique nocturnal tours. Conditions apply.

Take a tour by torchlight through New Zealand’s native forest at night. Your guide will help you to spot morepork, tuatara, glow-worms and weka. And if you hear a snuffling and a rustling in the bushes, it will probably be one of our rare little spotted kiwi – there are over 100 living wild in this magical valley! Tours depart nightly, with transport available to and from town for an extra $10pp.

Places are limited, so call 04 920 9213 to avoid disappointment!

Tour cost: $45 adult, $20 children (minimum age 12 years). 2-4-1 offer applies to PHONE BOOKINGS ONLY. more

Fun format for garden bird survey

Media release: Fun format for garden bird survey

Male bellbird

Calling all bird watchers! Your help is requested for a national Garden Bird Survey.

With a simple and fun format, anyone from seasoned bird watchers to families and school groups can take part in the survey, which has proved popular overseas. In the UK more than 400,000 people participated in last year’s survey, with a tally of eight million birds.

“Are our common bird populations increasing or decreasing? That’s the question we want to answer,” says Landcare Research scientist, Eric Spurr. more