In the “Taxon plan for Northland brown kiwi

The 2008–2018 Kiwi Recovery Plan (Holzapfel et al. 2008) provides strategic direction, at a national level, to ensure the long-term viability of all kiwi taxa1. The Kiwi Recovery Group is supporting its implementation and review.

As the Kiwi Recovery Plan provides general national-level strategic advice for many taxa over many regions, it cannot recommend management for each individual taxon to the level of detail required to guide workplans and thus implement successful recovery. This is the role of taxon plans.

Taxon plans translate the relevant goals, objectives and actions of the Kiwi Recovery Plan into a local context for individual taxa at a level of detail sufficient to guide operational plans. They are ‘best advice’ for all stakeholders regarding goals, objectives and actions, priorities and opportunities, for the management of individual taxa. As such, taxon plans are key documents for the implementation of the Kiwi Recovery Plan.

Although taxon plans are more operationally-focused than the Kiwi Recovery Plan, they do not provide the level of detail of a workplan. Nor do taxon plans provide details of best practice information which is, instead, provided at a national level by, for example, the Kiwi Best Practice Manual (Robertson & Colbourne 2003).

Taxon plans have been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders for the taxon, including tangata whenua, landowners, community-led kiwi projects and other conservancies involved in its recovery. Individual taxon plans have been peer-reviewed by the Kiwi Recovery Group to ensure that they fulfil their role as integral parts of the Kiwi Recovery Plan.

The accountability for each taxon plan is attributed to a lead conservancy, and implementation is supported in consultation with and guidance by the Kiwi Recovery Group. In Northland, the implementation and review of the taxon plan will be supported by a ‘taxon group’ (Northland Kiwi Forum), which includes key stakeholders and participants in the recovery of Northland kiwi.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Conservation Act and various Treaty settlement acts to recognise and provide for the involvement of tangata whenua in all aspects of kiwi recovery. It is recognised that within the lifetime of this plan some Treaty settlement claims within Northland will be finalised, and this will likely alter the ownership of some areas of kiwi habitat from public conservation land to iwi land.

1 Species—a formally described (i.e. published in the scientific literature), base unit of taxonomic rank usually applied to groups of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile off spring. Five species of kiwi are described: Brown kiwi, rowi, tokoeka, great spotted and little spotted kiwi.

Taxa—Inclusive of any level of taxonomic rank. In this context it includes the five described species and four genetically distinct taxa of kiwi currently recognised but not formally described within the species brown (Northland, Coromandel, eastern and western) and tokoeka (Haast, Northern and Southern Fiordland and Stewart Island).

Taxon—a taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus or species. A taxon usually includes several taxa.

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