Ngā kiwi o Kohukohunui – Returning kiwi to the Hunua Ranges
Published: 31 January 2017 on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
An intensive pest-control operation in the Hunua Ranges in 2015 has paid off, allowing kiwi to be reintroduced to the forest.
The success of the Hunua Project and ongoing work of volunteers in the kōkako management areas means pest numbers have dropped significantly.
Deputy Mayor and Franklin Ward Councillor Bill Cashmore says the council, Ngāti Whanaunga and Ngāti Paoa have been granted permission to transfer 40 birds from the Coromandel Range over the next six years.
“This will establish a founding population of North Island brown kiwi, which we hope will thrive in the pest-free areas of the park,” he says.
“Kohukohunui is very special to Māori and we are delighted to be working alongside mana whenua to restore this taonga species to the ranges.”
The first release is expected in late summer.
Tiny Kiwi Update – Hatched, Named and Photographed!!
Late in January we posted the story of a Tiny Kiwi Egg found in the central north island, since then the egg hatched a Tiny Kiwi (on the 4th of February).
Believed to be the smallest North Island brown kiwi, weighing just 173.5 grams, it hatched unaided at Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter.
There were fears for the chick as the egg, previously dubbed Mini, weighed just 217 grams when it arrived from Whirinaki Forest – compared to the 442.1g of a sibling egg.
Kiwi Encounter has hatched more than 1300 North Island brown kiwi eggs and previously the smallest chick, McMurdo, whose egg was 292g, weighed 238.5g when it emerged.
Kiwi Encounter husbandry manager Claire Travers said “The little chick hatched all on its own and there was a team of very excited staff … one staff member even turned up straight out of bed on her day off, she was so keen for a look.”
Naming rights for the tiny chick were up for auction on the Trade Me website and there are plans to release the bird as part of a founding population at the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, near Tauranga.
Naming rights of the North Island brown kiwi were auctioned on Trade Me and raised $1,000 for the National Kiwi Trust.
Now the chick has a name—Myfie. However, proceeds from the auction will only cover around 50% off the costs involved with raising a chick before releasing it into the wild.
Myfie is expected to stay at the centre for between 4-6 months before being released back into the wild by DOC staff. In the interim, Myfie will continue to be monitored daily and can be viewed during Kiwi Encounter tours, which are a major source of fundraising for the kiwi hatchery.
Kiwiman Creator Interviewed at Pikitia Press
Two parts of an interview between Pikitia Press man Matt Emery and Kiwiman comic maker Matt Kelly have been posted online!
Pikitia Press is a small press publishing operation run from Matt Emery’s spare room in St Kilda, Melbourne. Pikitia Press was founded in 2012 to publish works by and about Australia and New Zealand cartoonists. The Pikitia Press blog is an ongoing effort to record contemporary cartooning/comics and cartooning history in New Zealand and Australia.
Matt has a slew of interesting interviews with NZ and Auzy comic makers and cartoonists on the blog, I recommend you check it out!
Mining threatens rare Maui’s dolphins
The world’s rarest dolphin could become extinct if a seabed mining scheme near the west coast feeding grounds of the Maui’s dolphin gets the go ahead, say environmentalists.
The critically endangered Maui’s dolphin, of which there were an estimated 55 adults left in 2012, was the prime concern of many submitters in Hamilton [8th April 2014] during the second day of an Environmental Protection Agency hearing into Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) application to annually mine 50 million tonnes of seabed material.
Raglan’s Whaingaroa Environment Centre worker Danielle Hart called for the agency to dismiss the application, relating to a 65.76 square kilometre zone about 22 to 36 kilometres off Patea, because of the threat to Maui’s dolphin.
“Maui is at a critically low level – we cannot afford to take risks and lose even one individual,” she said.
Hart said New Zealand was being asked to put the marine environment at risk for business purposes.
“I’ve heard numerous concerns from people in the community, and further afield, about TTR’s application.”
Hart said Maui Dolphin Day, at Raglan, was attended by 2000 people every year.
“People battle the winds to stand on the beach, join hands and send a message.”
Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphins Education/Action Inc chairperson Christine Rose said 70,000 people in New Zealand had signed petitions calling for protection of the two dolphin species.
“Even conservative Government experts concede that Maui’s dolphins cannot sustain a single human-induced mortality in any 10- to 23-year period if the species is to survive . . . The effects of seabed mining on top of the other threats such as some types of fishing are a step too far.”
Rose said both the Department of Conservation and Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Threat Management Plan had identified seabed mining as an important threat.
“TTR’s experts admit the limits to their knowledge . . . They are taking a best guess at noise effects from the seabed mining operation and are working on incomplete information about dolphin distribution . . .
“Potential effects on Maui’s and Hector’s dolphin include noise, collisions with vessels and mining equipment, habitat displacement and damage, pollution and secondary effects from the plume on food prey species, including in the coastal habitat.”
Rose said it was of major concern that no base line of habitat occupation or potential effects existed and there was a lack of systematic science.
“TTR fail to scientifically establish an absence of dolphins from the area. They also fail to establish an absence of effects.
“The critically endangered status of Maui’s and Hectors dolphins, and moral and international obligations require all efforts to ensure the preservation but also the recovery of this species.
“This requires avoiding introducing new threats into the dolphins’ habitat – out to at least 100m deep, and in the dolphin corridor between the North and South Islands.”
Raglan resident John Lawson said a lot of the information surrounding the application was either uncertain or incomplete.
“We need to wait until we do know . . . Adjourn this hearing until you have got more information.”
Agency hearing committee chair Greg Hill, with members Gillian Wratt, Brett Rogers, William Kapea and Stephen Christensen, are considering 60,000 pages of submissions in their decision-making process.
The hearing is expected to conclude on Friday and then moves to New Plymouth.
– © Fairfax NZ News
ARKive is a not-for-profit initiative
of the charity Wildscreen
With the help of the world’s best wildlife filmmakers and photographers, conservationists and scientists, ARKive are creating an awe-inspiring record of life on Earth.
Freely accessible to everyone and preserved for the benefit of future generations, ARKive is a truly invaluable resource for conservation, education and public awareness.
They feature short articles on endangered animals like the North Island Brown Kiwi and link to images and video about them.
Species: North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)
Status: Endangered (EN)
Interesting Fact: The North Island brown kiwi is more like a mammal than a bird, with fur-like feathers, muscular legs and even cat-like whiskers on its face.
Another example is this cutie, the Doria’s tree kangaroo!
Species: Doria’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus dorianus)
Status: Vulnerable (VU)
Interesting Fact: Doria’s tree kangaroo is the heaviest tree-dwelling marsupial in the world, weighing as much as 20 kilograms, and is capable of jumping down to the ground from a height of up to 18 metres without injury.
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.
NEW WEBCOMIC STORY
STARTING FRIDAY 17.1.14 ! FIRST TIME ON THE WEB!
A NEW STORY: “CROSSOVER ON FINITE ISLANDS”
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN NEWGROUND NUMBER NINE
BACK IN 2008
ONE PAGE PER WEEK POSTED EACH FRIDAY!
STARTING FRIDAY 17.1.14 !
“CROSSOVER ON FINITE ISLANDS”
ONE PAGE PER WEEK POSTED EACH FRIDAY!
Format Change at Kiwiman Comics!!!
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!!!
KIWIMAN COMICS: improving your Kiwiman Comic Experience!!!
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.”