Kiwi egg could hatch another white Chick
MATHEW GROCOTT reports (Last updated 12:00 14/01/2014) for The Standard that staff and visitors at Pukaha Mt Bruce are hoping for another white kiwi after The Department of Conservation-run wildlife sanctuary at the bottom of the Tararua District revealed it was caring for two eggs from the father of Manukura last week. Manukura is a white kiwi born in 2011 that gained international media attention.
Manukura’s father carries the recessive gene responsible for white feathers, so there is a chance his offspring will be white like Manukura and two other birds born at the the same centre after Manukura.
One egg hatched on Friday night, revealing a North Island brown kiwi without the white feather genes.
Centre manager Helen Tickner said “We still have one [egg] that might produce a white kiwi for us, there’s an outside chance.”
“We don’t know who the mother of the egg is but kiwi generally stick together,” Ms Tickner said.
If the eggs were laid by Manukura’s, and the other two white Kiwi’s, mother there is a 25 per cent chance of another white Kiwi.
Seven kiwi have hatched at Mt Bruce since September 2013. Six more eggs being cared for.
Ms Tickner said it had been a successful breeding season at Mt Bruce.
The Operation Nest Egg programme has Pukaha staff members monitor eggs laid in the forest for about 70 days, at which point the eggs are taken to a secure nursery for incubation. Ms Tickner said North Island brown kiwi chicks have about a 5 per cent chance of survival in the wild. In captivity those odds increased to about 65 per cent.
After hatching kiwi are raised to a weight at which they’re able to defend themselves from predators before being released back into the centre’s 942-hectare forest reserve, which is protected by an intensive predator-trapping programme.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Tiny kiwi egg found in central North Island
Tiny kiwi egg found in central North Island 3:34 PM Friday Jan 24, 2014
The brown kiwi egg weighs just 217.6g.
Conservationists say a tiny kiwi egg found in the central North Island is the smallest of its kind.
The brown kiwi egg weighed just 217.6g when it arrived at Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter conservation centre last week from Whirinaki Forest.
The clutch it came from produced only one other egg – weighing a much more normal 442.1g.
Claire Travers, husbandry manager at the centre’s Kiwi Encounter, said the contents of the small egg already had a name – Mini.
Today is the 68th day of incubation and the egg is on schedule to hatch before the end of the month.
Ms Travers said it was the smallest brown kiwi egg the centre knew of. The previous smallest weighed 292g at the same stage of incubation.
“This arrival is one of the most eagerly awaited in some time,” she said.
It was a mystery why the mother had laid such a small egg, Ms Travers said.
“Possible factors are that it is diet-related or it could point to issues with her ovaries or reproductive tract. Whatever caused Mini to be laid, he or she can be assured of the very best care come hatching time.”
Cameras have been installed at the centre and intensive care specialists are ready to help with the hatching.
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All new for the New Year !!!
We’ve changed the format to how we bring you our patented brand of mistery-action-adventure-comedy!!!
From today forward our ongoing webcomic Kiwiman For Sale will be published as a four panel post each Wednesday!!!
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WELCOME TO THE FUTURE !!!!
Wellington Protest, International Marine Conference – “Set Net Ban too weak”
A Protest in Wellington and the 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Dunedin both warn against weak proposal to mildly extend set net ban.
However Taranaki Fishermen hope that a court case brought by International Conservation against the NZ Govt.’s weak changes to set-net ban region within what is understood to be Maui’s Dolphin habitat, will undermine the same current ban.
These Fishermen continue to claim scientific evidence is falsified or misrepresentational (as is an industry standard seen throughout recent times, including through the Orange Roughy collapse) despite the lack of a motive or opposing evidence. The restrictions extend a ban on using set nets by 350 square kilometres off the Taranaki coast.
Dr Smith’s restrictions mean set nets will be banned up to 13km offshore between Pariokariwa Pt and the Waiwhakaiho River in Taranaki, a 350sq km increase to existing net restrictions running along the west coast of the North Island from Maunganui Bluff, near Dargaville.
The Ministry for Primary Industries estimated the measure would cost New Plymouth fishers $81,000 each year.
The German conservation group, NABU International, says it will mount a legal challenge because the restrictions don’t go far enough. Egmont Seafoods says it expects a judge will find the rules are too restrictive and that NABU has presented misleading information to the International Whaling Commission.
The WWF is also considering challenge to dolphin rules, joining NABU in a legal challenge to the new rules set-net ban, saying the new restrictions are damaging to New Zealand’s international reputation.
WWF head of Campaign head Peter Hardstaff argues the dolphin’s habitat extends well beyond that and the ruling sends the wrong message.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith has refused to comment on any possible legal action and says that Government stands by its measures to protect the dolphin.
Meanwhile the world’s largest marine mammal conference of about 1100 marine scientists and conservationists attended the 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, which began in Dunedin on Monday were warned that Maui’s dolphin is headed for extinction.
Professor Steve Dawson from Otago University told those gathered that the Government is unwilling to restrict economic activities, such as fishing, unless it absolutely has to.
Professor Dawson said it is trying to get compromises that science shows are not achievable and the lack urgent action to save the Maui’s dolphin is an international shame.
Conference organisers say human activities at sea and in rivers are posing an increasing threat to marine mammals. Earlier this year, they wrote to Conservation Minister Nick Smith asking him to extend a netting ban to cover the entire range of the Maui’s dolphin’s habitat. Nick Smith announced in late November that the Government would extend a set-net fishing ban off the Taranaki coast, but this is not an immediate measure and it also miserably fails to encapsulate the Maui’s habitat.
Also this month public response has grown to the NZ Govt.’s lack of leadership and commitment to the conservation of Maui’s Dolphin.
In Wellington on the 4th of December about 100 activists have staged what they call a “funeral procession” through central Wellington to protest a lack of Government protection for Maui’s dolphins.
Campaigners protested New Zealand’s set-net fishing restrictions saying that they are a death sentence for the Maui’s dolphins, they marched to parliament and laid cardboard coffins and fishing nets full of plastic junk outside Parliament.
A ‘funeral procession’ for the endangered species, held in Wellington, ended in an emotional gathering on the steps of Parliament.
It is now believed there are fewer than 50 of the dolphins left in the world.
The protest was organised by the Maui’s and Hector’s Education/Action group and the Berlin-based Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, to protest Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s proposed extension of set net restrictions as too small to guarantee the survival of the Maui’s dolphin species.
Maui’s and Hector’s Education/Action group chairwoman Christine Rose said today’s protest showed how angry people were about the Government’s attitude towards the world’s rarest, smallest and loveliest marine dolphin.
“We’re angry, but there is hope. We know based on the best scientific evidence that if we remove those human-induced threats from the Maui’s habitat, that they can recover to half their 1970 population by 2030. They can recover,” Ms Rose said.
Ms Rose said the species can cope with only one death every 10 to 23 years, but about five Maui’s dolphins die due to human activities each year.
Labour MP Ruth Dyson, who was among a group of politicians which met the protest march outside Parliament today, said economic impacts of fishing restrictions needed to be set aside when making conservation decisions about Maui’s dolphins.
“This has to be a contest of responsibility where conservation wins.”
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NZ Government ignores preeminent marine mammal scientists as call for action strengthens
A press release issued early last month from NABU International – Foundation for Nature (website) (Facebook) has spotlighted the high profile science groups calling for more from the NZ government than the proposed slight increase to the Maui’s Dolphin sanctuary, or set-net ban territory.
From NABU press release from Scoop … “In the past 15 months three international scientific bodies have repeatedly urged the New Zealand Government to protect the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins from extinction. But the calls by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) have fallen on deaf ears. Now the SMM, the preeminent body of international marine mammal scientists, issues its third appeal to the Government, stating that any further fishing-related deaths are unacceptable if Maui’s dolphins are to survive. The Society’s letter follows the announcement of proposals to slightly increase protection for Maui’s dolphins, and the death of a Maui’s dolphin on the 13th September [later shown to have died of old age in a necropsy/autopsy NZHerald ].”
Conservation Minister Nick Smith was quoted in the NZ Herald saying ‘… “The information would have been very gloomy in the event that it had been caused by human carelessness or some criminal act. That’s not the circumstances here.” …
… He says given the population of the Maui’s dolphins is so fragile, it’s important all fatalities are reported.
“When you’ve only got 55 of these left, they’re the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world, we need every possible piece of information we can get our hands on so we can try and understand the species.”
… Dr Smith says ensuring dead dolphins such as this one can be analysed by scientists is important, because it teaches us more about the species …’
So why is he ignoring calls from the foremost mammalogists in the world to extend the set net ban, to halt all Dolphin un-friendly fishing methods in the full Maui’s Dolphin territories to ensure the survival of this species and the opportunity to learn more about it?
Could it be that Nick Smith’s comment that dead dolphins can be analysed by scientists to teach us more about the species is pure cynicism, undermining his interest in “… every possible piece of information we can get our hands on so we can try and understand the species …”. What use is understanding the species if we let it die?
The information to hand is more than adequate to call for a watershed change in the way New Zealand regulates it’s fisheries, the calls of respected marine biologists and scientists, such as Dr Liz Slooten ( link ), are proof to that fact.
To quote Dr Slooten … “Occasional claims in the media that we’re “not sure” if fishing is the most serious impact or that “more research” is needed, come from individuals on the fringe. The fishing industry was consulted exhaustively on this issue, and had many opportunities to state those kinds of views. The consensus, based on decades of scientific research and fisheries monitoring (e.g. placing independent observers on fishing boats) is that fishing nets are the number one threat.
And a final quote from Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson Ruth Dyson ‘… “Nick Smith needs to take strong action now. He could support the future existence of the Maui’s dolphins with a complete ban on gill nets and trawling, as well as support the fishing industry with a financial transition package to move to sustainable fishing practices,” …’ (Voxy)
NABU International – Foundation for Nature has started a petition on change.org.
Please consider signing this and send Nick Smith your own letter too!
This petition will be delivered to:
Minister of Conservation, New Zealand
Hon. Nick Smith
SAVE MAUI’S DOLPHINS NOW! Marine Mammal Sanctuary Submission
The New Zealand government has asked for public comments on its proposals by 10th October (http://www.doc.govt.nz/sanctuary-consultation) . This process gives everyone the opportunity to have their say on how the last 50 Maui’s dolphins should be protected. By signing this petition you can make a formal submission right now and let New Zealand know that the world cares and won’t accept their willful extinction!
If you prefer you may follow the DOC’s submission guidelines below or at their website.
Also please note: If you made a submission to DOC between the hours of 5:41 pm Tuesday 17 September 2013 and 1:30 pm Wednesday 18 September 2013, there is a very strong possibility that we did not receive your submission due to technical issues. If your submission was affected by this, it would be greatly appreciated if you could re-send us your submission.
Submissions on the proposed variation close 4:00 pm Thursday 10 October 2013.
Female Brown Kiwi Survives Car Accident Unbroken!
Wildlife vet Karina Gonzalez Argandona and assistants worked on the accident surviving female brown kiwi at Wildbase Hospital to provide initial care, mainting fluids, providing pain relief and bandaging the affected leg.
Department of Conservation staff brought the kiwi to Wildbase Hospital, part of the Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Palmerston North.
The hospital treats rare and endangered native birds, reptiles and mammals from all over New Zealand and provides hands-on training in wildlife medicine for final-year Massey University veterinary students as a respected teaching and research facility.
According to the Manawatu Standard’s article (click here) ‘… the kiwi had been hit by a car travelling at 70kmh near Whanganui, but sustained no serious injuries.
Wildlife vet Karina Gonzalez Argandona said a thorough examination, including a radiograph, found that she had no fractures.
“There was some severe bruising and soft tissue swelling and she has lost a patch of feathers.”
The kiwi was lucky to be alive and would stay at Wildbase Hospital for several more weeks until it had recovered.
“We need to make sure its feathers have re-grown because it will die of exposure if we release it before then.”
The bird is receiving antibiotics, pain relief and food while in care.’
A youtube video shows the kiwi being cared for at the animal centre. Kiwi Care at Wildbase Hospital
National Gvt protects Fishing Industry from Critically Endangered Dolphin
Maui’s dolphin critically endangered and underprotected by National Government.International pressure from marine scientists and animal conservancy groups is washing against the sea-wall of the powerful fishing industry and it’s empiricle ally the National Government.
As reported by Matt Stewart, Weather, science and environment reporter for The Dominion Post ‘… [last] September, New Zealand was the only nation to vote against more protection for the critically endangered dolphins at the world’s largest conservation summit, in Korea … the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)…
[About] 576 members, including governments and NGOs, voted for the motion to ban gill and trawl nets out to the 100-metre depth contour of the dolphins’ habitat, on the North Island’s west coast between Dargaville and Whanganui.
In opposing the vote, New Zealand cited a lack of scientific evidence that the contour reflected the limit of the dolphins’ full range.
But the Department of Conservation wanted the Government to abstain from voting over increased protection for the dolphins to defend the country’s global reputation.
Emails between lead agencies the Ministry for Primary Industries and DOC, obtained under the Official Information Act, reveal DOC wanted the Government to abstain, while the ministry pushed for a “no” vote.
“In my opinion, abstaining carries less reputational risk for New Zealand,” DOC senior marine adviser Tara Ross- Watt wrote in an email to ministry inshore fisheries manager Andrew Doube … ‘
However, Matt Stewart points out … ‘the International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee was told last month [that u]nless much of the dolphins’ swimming grounds, including harbours, is protected against gill netting and trawling, the dolphins will shrink to 10 adult females within six years, the annual meeting of.
Without that level of protection, Maui’s would become “functionally extinct” in less than 20 years – functional extinction is defined as fewer than three breeding females.’
Meanwhile Scoop published a Press Release from NABU International – Foundation for Nature stating that ‘… the IWC scientists express “extreme concern about the survival of Maui’s dolphin(s)” and warn that the death of even one individual as a result of human interference will push Maui’s dolphins closer to extinction.
Rather than spending more time studying the situation, as envisaged by the Government, New Zealand should make the immediate implementation of management actions that eliminate further dolphin entanglements its highest priority. This includes the full closure of harmful fisheries within the dolphin’s range, together with the creation of generous buffer zones …’
Matt Stewart’s article reports the email correspondance between DOC and ministry inshore fisheries manager Andrew Doube as follows…
‘… “In our view it would be very difficult for a government department to do anything other than vote against motions that are contrary to government policy,” Mr Doube replied [to DOC senior marine adviser Tara Ross- Watt] …
… Ross-Watt had previously stated that the “unresolved nature” of the policy around the Threat Management Plan (TMP) for Maui’s dolphins, which has been under review since late last year, did not strike him as “being wholly contrary to policy”.
Leading up to the vote, New Zealand head of delegation to the IUCN Andrew Bignell sent an urgent email to Mr Doube and Mr Ross-Scott questioning his instructions from the Government to vote against the motion. “It is highly preferable for New Zealand to be able to support the motion, given the work we have done on dolphin conservation nationally and internationally,” Mr Bignell wrote. “At a minimum, I would wish to be able to abstain to preserve our reputation for dolphin work.”
WWF-New Zealand executive director Chris Howe said the correspondence showed clearly that senior DOC officials “were rightly concerned about New Zealand’s reputation if the Government voted against a motion to stop the extinction of Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins. They expressed a clear preference on voting for the motion, or at the minimum, abstaining.”
He also questioned why the ministry had the final say on how the Government voted on the motion. “Why is MPI leading on decisions on Maui’s dolphins at international conservation meetings?
“The National-led Government needs to give some power back to DOC and recognise that saving our most precious species – including our Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins, and our . . . sea lions – is in the interest of all New Zealanders.”
In response to Mr Howe, ministry deputy director-general of resource management and programmes Scott Gallacher said it was responsible under the Fisheries Act for managing impacts of fishing on protected species.
“The IUCN motion explicitly referred to fishing measures. MPI was therefore going to be a contributor to the Government’s position. Ultimately, it was the New Zealand Government’s position to oppose the IUCN motion to ban gill and trawl nets out to the 100-metre contour,” Mr Gallacher said.
“New Zealand’s fisheries management is regarded as world leading, and the reason for this is that decisions are based on robust and sound scientific evidence. It is MPI’s assessment that banning fishing to 100 metres depth contour, as proposed in the IUCN motion, is not backed by strong scientific evidence for Maui’s dolphins.
“It would be inappropriate to close all fishing activity in the absence of strong scientific evidence.”
There were already extensive restrictions on fishing activity to help protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins, Mr Gallacher said …’However the perception that government is playing with statistics in order to support economic development at the expense of marine diversity is picked up in the international press release from NABU:
‘… The latest statistics of the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) updated Red List of Endangered Species are alarming. A third of 70,294 species which have been assessed are threatened with extinction.Almost 800 others are already extinct.
“You would hope that the nations of the world would do everything in their power to prevent the irreversible loss of these building blocks of biodiversity on which all our lives depend,” said Thomas Tennhardt, President of NABU International – Foundation for Nature. “But the New Zealand Government has been recalcitrant with regard to its responsibility to protect the rarest and smallest dolphin species of all. Unless New Zealand rethinks its position immediately, Maui’s dolphins will become extinct within a matter of years.”
… NABU International ‘s Head of Conservation, Dr. Barbara Maas, attended the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to present a report, which detailed the serious conservation status of Maui’s dolphin’s and explained how the Government’s Threat Management Plan (TMP) contains no solution to the dolphins’ imminent demise.
“The TMP is woefully inadequate, riddled with inconsistencies, and falls short of what is required to prevent the dolphins’ extinction,” says Barbara Maas. “It ignores the advice of experts and fails to provide any rationale for the management measures it proposes. Range-wide protection is not included as a possible solution.”
“What’s striking is that not one sentence in the 209 page TMP is dedicated to what the conservation benefits of any of the measures the Government is proposing might be. In contrast, many dozens of pages are devoted to the economic impact on the fishing industry.”[My emphasis]
In light of an extensive history of research promoting higher protections across more than one political party’s tenure it appears the National government is indeed playing with the research, perhaps in keeping with John Key’s comments to Stephen Sackur interviewing him for BBC World News show, HARDtalk , when he stated that the views of researchers can be swaped; as academics are “… like lawyers, I can provide you another one who will give you a counter view…”
But this attitude is drawing more and more and more research based criticism from groups like NABU who are clealy not going away as evidenced below…
“In line with the position of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SSM), NABU International will continue to press for the immediate and comprehensive protection of the last Maui’s dolphins across their habitat.”
“We estimate that Maui’s dolphins will become extinct in less than 20 years. But this can easily be avoided if New Zealand acts now. Whether it will or not depends on whether New Zealand is prepared to free itself from the stranglehold of its fishing industry.”
“While the last Maui’s dolphins are struggling to survive, New Zealand is busy arguing against Japan’s whale hunt in Southern Ocean at the International Court of Justice in De Hague. It’s time to take a similarly principled stance with regard to its own “Hobbits of the Seas” back home.”
For our KIWIMAN webcomic page featuring more information on Maui’s dolphins please click www.kiwimancomics.com/2013/07/10/mauiscomic/
Please visit the full articles quoted here at : Dom Post, ‘Lack of evidence’ behind NZ vote against Maui’s aid
Maui’s Dolphin Comic Fact Sheet
This page was created before April 2008 and as such contains information that is no longer correct and needs to be updated :
The current estimated population of the critically endangered Maui’s Dolphin is 55.
The minister for Conservation is currentl Nick Smith in the National Party, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently a trawling and set net ban stretches from Maunganui Bluff (north of Auckland) to Pariokariwa Point (north Taranaki), out to seven nautical miles from shore. Harbours along this stretch of coast do not have a set net ban. In June 2012 the New Zealand government announced an interim set net ban extension south around the Taranaki coast to Hawera and out to two nautical miles from shore.
Also the plight of Maui’s dolphins is now being talked about all over the world, thanks to international concern for this rarest of marine dolphin.