In the “Taxon plan for Northland brown kiwi

This plan is for Northland brown kiwi, one of four distinct brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) taxa. This is the first taxon plan to guide the conservation of this taxon, and is a practical guide for all individuals and groups involved in the recovery of Northland brown kiwi. This plan provides a framework and context for recovery planning. It also examines the current conservation status of Northland brown kiwi, the management and monitoring programmes currently underway, and the options for minimising population decline and restoring Northland brown kiwi in its historical range.

The Northland brown kiwi is unique in terms of its genetic makeup, behaviour and ecology. At a total population of approximately 8000, the Northland brown kiwi comprises almost one third of the estimated 25,000 brown kiwi remaining in New Zealand. These 8000 kiwi inhabit 25 population clusters throughout Northland, including populations on offshore islands and at Tawharanui Open Sanctuary. Kiwi conservation programmes in Northland are on both public and private land, and there is huge community responsibility for, and involvement in, kiwi protection. The ability to sustain kiwi populations in Northland is increasing as more tangata whenua, individuals and community groups take on kiwi protection.

The aim of this taxon plan is to restore and, wherever possible, enhance the abundance, distribution and genetic diversity... of the Northland taxon, as per the long-term goal of the Kiwi Recovery Plan (2008–2018). This plan contains 21 goals with 89 action points. These goals and actions are grouped under three theme headings: management, community relations and engagement, and research, monitoring and innovation. Each action point is prioritised, timelined and allocates delivery responsibilities.

The focus for kiwi recovery in Northland has changed from the protection of individual kiwi to the protection of kiwi habitat. There are now approximately 52 000 ha of kiwi habitat under active management, supporting more that 1000 breeding pairs of kiwi. By 2019, it is intended that a minimum of 2800 breeding pairs within 12 managed sites will be protected from threats, a further 15 sites will be under active management, and work towards expanding these areas through linkages will be underway.

The recovery and protection of Northland brown kiwi relies on the interest, understanding, engagement and collaboration of many sectors of the community. Tangata whenua-, communityand landowner-led kiwi conservation projects have been successfully established within Northland. The long-term sustainability of these projects requires the ongoing energy and enthusiasm of the groups and individuals involved, and ongoing funding to sustain protection efforts.

The recovery of kiwi has greatly benefited from research and technological developments, and will continue to be dependent on sound scientific understanding and the development of adequate tools.

Dog predation is the largest issue for Northland brown kiwi. Resolving this issue through an intensive advocacy campaign, the creation of no dogs zones and subdivisions in some areas, kiwi aversion training for dogs, and through development of dog control techniques, is an important focus of this plan.

A key feature of this taxon plan is the establishment of the Northland Kiwi Forum. The role of the Forum is to facilitate the implementation of some of the actions of this plan and provide information and support to community kiwi projects and practitioners. This will ensure that all groups and individuals involved in Northland brown kiwi recovery have support, access to technical and best practice information, and an avenue for networking.

The term of this plan is 2010 to 2019 (staggered by 1 year from the recovery plan) and it will be subject to an annual progress review.

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