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Brynderwyn kiwi are wandering


Back in April and May a further 22 kiwi were released in the Brynderwyns at Marunui Conservation to join the birds released there early last year. While the original birds have generally settled well and formed pairs, some of the new birds are relatively young and keen to explore their new home.

Catherine Hawley of Marunui says there is no physical obstacle to kiwi dispersal beyond Marunui’s boundaries and over time it is expected they will spread out as the population increases and birds seek to establish their own territories and look for partners. Continuous forested habitat, such as that offered by the Brynderwyns, potentially provides a large area for long distance movement.

Subadult kiwi, both male and female but especially female, can be mobile. Catherine says that two of the newcomers, Lucy and Gypsy, recently decided to stretch their legs and over a period of some four weeks both travelled more than 5km. All the birds were monitored weekly and Lucy appeared to be heading east while Gypsy was heading northeast towards the Brynderwyn Hills Walkway and beyond. Retrieval was necessary because they were entering unsafe areas where they could be exposed to predators and dog attack.

After several hours of transmitter tracking Lucy was found in bush on Bream Tail farm. She had walked 5.5km from Marunui, following along the Brynderywn range, and had crossed Cove Road.

“We were very grateful to landowners Richard Henry and Bruce Nelder and to Dave Burchett, manager at Bream Tail farm, for allowing access and giving assistance where they could,” Catherine says.

Gypsy was tracked by local resident and Marunui volunteer, Dave Cullen, to a bush property above Langs Beach. She had crossed into the DOC reserve, then over the Brynderwyns ridge and headed towards the coast, coming close to housing, untrapped areas and potential harm. Both she and Lucy were taken back to Marunui and have since settled.

“We are drawing attention to the possibility that kiwi could now reach anyone’s property,” says catherine. “As dogs pose a serious risk to kiwi, one way of helping keep them safe is making sure dogs are tied up at night, a time when the birds are out searching for food.”
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