Well trained dogs, whether hunting dog, domestic pet or specialised species dog, are helping to save kiwi on the Coromandel Peninsula. Kiwi numbers are building up on the Peninsula thanks to the efforts of landowners and community groups. So much so that dogs and kiwi are likely to come into contact more often.
‘There is something about the smell of a kiwi that causes even the most docile, obedient dog to attack and kill kiwi,’ says Department of Conservation (DOC) Biodiversity Threats Manager Michael Walker.
‘Untrained, unsupervised wandering dogs disturb and kill native birds. The good news is it only takes minutes to train your dog to avoid kiwi.’
Kiwi Avoidance Training filmed for
'Meet the Locals' series
Kiwi Avoidance Training (KAT) has been run by DOC in the Hauraki area since early 2007, with an average of 500 dogs attending the programme with their owners annually. KAT is free and is a requirement for anyone hunting on conservation or forestry land north of the Kopu-Hikuai.
The next KAT session is at the Wentworth Valley Campgrounds in Whangamata on the 27 August. Booking is essential, and this can be done through the DOC Coromandel Field Base on +64 7 866 1100.