Date: 15 October 2013 Source: Kiwis for kiwi
With more than 27 kiwi killed each week by predators, the country’s first Save Kiwi Week is an urgent shout for help to save our national icon.
Organised by the charity, Kiwis for kiwi, Save Kiwi Week runs nationwide from 14-20 October. Sir Graham Henry, Kiwis for Kiwi Patron will launch the campaign at Auckland Zoo’s kiwi hatching facility at 2pm on Tuesday 15 October.
Sir Graham commented he was pleased to be part of a organistion working to keep our namesake alive.
“A future New Zealand without kiwi is unthinkable. I call on everyone to support Save Kiwi Week.
“We kiwis are battlers. We take on big international challenges and work hard to succeed. Let’s take some of that energy and use it to on home turf to win the fight for our national bird.”
Kiwis for kiwi executive director, Michelle Impey says unless we take action now, kiwi will be gone from the Mainland in our lifetime.
“The tragic reality is that without protection, 95 percent of kiwi are killed in the wild before they are old enough to breed.
“Save Kiwi Week is about raising funds for predator control. In areas that are actively managed, kiwi survival rate increases from five to 60 percent. We can reverse the decline. With support from two-legged Kiwis, our bird can flourish.”
The national campaign has a target of raising $100,000 which will protect 1,000 kiwi and their chicks from stoats, weasels, rats and other pests.
Many of the 85 plus kiwi care groups and Department of Conservation around the country have organised events that their local community can take part in. There are also unique experiences for auction on Trade Me from the groups such as a scenic flight over Whangarei Heads to search for kiwi.
Everyone signing up on www.kiwisforkiwi.org during October goes in the draw to win a trip with Sir Graham Henry to release a kiwi back to the wild.
Ms Impey stated that Save Kiwi Week is also about raising awareness of the plight of our national icon.
“Research carried out last year found that only half of New Zealanders knew that that kiwi were in decline.”
All kiwi types are endangered. Some, like the rowi with a population of just 375 are critically scarce. Only a century ago, kiwi numbered in the millions.
To make a donation, to be in the draw to win a trip releasing kiwi back to the wild with Sir Graham Henry, to find out what is happening in your community and to find out how you can help go to: www.kiwisforkiwi.org.
Save Kiwi Week is generously supported by BNZ, Department of Conservation, Trade Me, Air NZ and Mr Vintage.
Kiwis for KiwiTM is the trading name of The Kiwi Trust. Established in October 2012, it carries on more than two decades of work by BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust, to help protect kiwi and the places they live. Thousands of New Zealanders have donated to this cause, with a vision to take kiwi from endangered to everywhere. Kiwis for kiwi raises and distributes funds to community, DOC and volunteer groups helping save kiwi throughout the country.
- 95% of kiwi that hatch in unprotected areas die before they reach breeding age.
- A single roaming dog can wipe out an entire kiwi population in a matter of days.
- Death to kiwi by dogs poses a huge risk in some areas of the country. They are the key threat to adult kiwi. In Northland, because of the threat of dogs , the average life expectancy of kiwi is reduced from 50+ years to only 13 years.
- We are losing approximately 2% of our kiwi population every year. We lose an average of 27 kiwi EVERY WEEK. Around, 1,400 every year. At this rate, we risk kiwi disappearing from the mainland in our lifetime.
- By helping Kiwis for kiwi reach its target goal of $100,000, 1,000 kiwi and their chicks will be protected from pests and predators.
- A century ago kiwi in the wild numbered in the millions.
- Some kiwi species are critically endangered. There are only about 375 rowi remaining.
- Community-based programmes have grown substantially to have more than 50,000 hectares under management alongside DOC’s 70,000 ha throughout the country. The majority of these projects are managing their kiwi populations with a trapping network to control predators.
- There are an estimated 85 community groups doing work specifically to protect kiwi.
- Kiwi chicks are most at risk before they reach 1kg in weight (around 6 months of age) and are able to fight off stoats and other predators. The biggest threats to kiwi chicks are stoats and cats, and to adult kiwi dogs and ferrets.
- BNZ Operation Nest Egg is a very successful tool, developed to reverse the decline of kiwi populations. In 2008, 14 years after it was developed, the 1000th BNZ Operation Nest Egg kiwi chick was hatched. Here is how BNZ Operation Nest Egg works: kiwi eggs are collected from the wild then incubated, hatched and reared in captivity, in specially designed incubation units with trained staff. There are eight of these facilities around the country. When about four weeks old, chicks are sent to a safe crèche – either a predator-free island or mainland sanctuary – until they reach around one kilogram. Only then are they returned to their wild home; big enough to fend off most predators.
- BNZ is Kiwis for kiwi’s Operation Nest Egg sponsor, and were instrumental in funding the programme since 1994 when it was first used on kiwi.
How Kiwis can help kiwi
- Go to www.kiwisforkiwi.org today, to make your secure, online contribution. While there, enter your details for the chance to join Graham Henry on a kiwi release experience.
- Check out the cool kiwi related auction items on Trade Me through the week of 14 October.
- Participate in organized events in your region. Go to kiwisforkiw.org for details.
- Teachers – download the Kiwis Forever toolkit for a bunch of things to do with your students through the campaign and throughout the year.
- Do not let your dog go into or near bush areas where there are kiwi. All dogs can kill kiwi. Any breed, any size. No matter the level of obedience. Do not take your dog in bush areas where kiwi live, not even on a leash. Know where your dog is at all times and make sure it is securely tied up at night.
- There are kiwi aversion training programmes for dogs running nationwide. Go to www.kiwisforkiwi.org to find your nearest training programme.
- Get to know the area you live in. Talk to local Department of Conservation staff or local kiwi community workers. It’s a great way of finding out about kiwi and other wildlife in the area.
- Kiwi conservation groups all round the country are organising events during Save Kiwi Week. Go to www.kiwisforkiwi.org to find out what is happening in your area.
- Throughout the year community kiwi conservation groups need help with jobs like setting trap lines, kiwi monitoring, tree planting, weed control; vital tasks that help keep kiwi alive in your area. Get in contact with them and find out how you can support and help keep kiwi alive in your area.
- Go to www.kiwisforkiwi.org to enquire about school talks, school visits and kiwi conservation resource packs.
Penny Hartill, Hartill PR Ltd, +64 9 445 7525, +64 21 721 424, firstname.lastname@example.org:
- To find out about events in your area
- For interview, photo or filming opportunities
- To request photos of kiwi or Sir Graham Henry
- For further information.