Site Index
Profile of Forest Floor
Products of Forest Floor
Seed Collecting
Ecology news
Planting tips
Planting article
The man who planted hope
Native bird recovery centre

Birds are the children of the forest
Cars Hit Kiwi Numbers
Roast kiwi way to save icon?
New Kiwi sanctuary peninsula

Native Bird Recovery Centre, 

Peninsula Declared a Kiwi Sanctuary
Northern Advocate  17 July 2001

An idyllic, predator-free environment is in store for kiwi living in the Bay of Islands with the 2,500 hectare Russell peninsula being declared a kiwi sanctuary. Jacqui Knight, chief executive of Enterprise Russell, announced yesterday that the peninsula had been declared a kiwi sanctuary and work was about to start on a fence to keep predators out of the area. Ms Knight said the peninsula was now virtually free of rats, possums and mustelids, all predators that were putting the country's kiwi population, and other native flora and fauna, at risk.
Extensive poisoning this year had almost wiped out the predators and trapping was now underway to "clear up the rest of them," she said. Work on removing the predators from the peninsula was expected to cost about $100,000 this year. Once the work was finished, including the erection of the predator fence, it should cost about $40,000 a year to maintain the sanctuary.
Ms Knight said the exciting project had the backing of the local community, which also had a big part to play in ensuring the success of the plan. "The locals are right behind this. They are looking at the way they are responsible for controlling their dogs and cats," she said.
Ms Knight said the sanctuary would provide a better future for kiwi and other native species in the area. "It will be better for the people that live there too. They will get to appreciate the unique New Zealand environment more," she said. "There are many (kiwi sanctuaries) around, but this could be the first to have people living in the middle of it."
The sanctuary could also open up eco-tourism opportunities, Ms Knight said. "There are already inquiries from overseas people who want to stay in the bush where they can hear a kiwi" she said. "Perhaps it won't be long before Russell can offer accommodation where people can watch a kiwi feeding in the wild."
Since the poisoning started there had already been an increase in kiwi sightings by the public. One recent morning a kiwi was found foraging on the Russell bowling green.
Project leader, and habitat specialist Laurence Gordon was about to start erecting a fence along the peninsula, which will extend northwards from Manawaora and Clendon Cove, to prevent the area being reinvaded by predators from the neighbouring Russell Forest.
The Kawakawa Community Board had put aside funds to pay for the fence, Mr Gordon said. "It will be a prototype, using the latest techniques to deter mustelids, and should be of interest to others who are contemplating similar projects," he said.
Funding for the project had also been provided by the World Wildlife Fund, Department of Conservation, BNZ and the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust.

Northern Advocate  17 July 2001

Back Up

Page last updated: 05/04/02

Back ] Home ] Up ]     Birds are the children of the forest ] Cars Hit Kiwi Numbers ] Roast kiwi way to save icon? ] [ New Kiwi sanctuary peninsula ]