Iwi from Rotoroa Island and the Coromandel region have thrown support behind a new partnership which aims to increase the population of Coromandel North Island brown kiwi.
Rotoroa Island Trust, Auckland Zoo and Thames Coast Kiwi Care are involved in the partnership and three kiwis were released on Rotoroa Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf today to signal the beginning of the project.
October is Save Kiwi Month, with an average of 27 kiwi being killed by predators every week.
Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken says partnering with Thames Coast Kiwi Care to grow the population of this rare, genetically distinct kiwi highlights the value of sharing skills and resources.
Rotoroa Island Trust Chairman, Barrie Brown says that another key part of the Rotoroa kiwi project is to set up a school programme. This will give young children practical opportunities to grow their love and ability to care for wildlife and the environment.
“It’s wonderful to be celebrating this milestone of providing a place for our national bird to thrive,” says Barrie Brown.
More kiwi chicks will be released onto Rotoroa Island on Saturday 15 November and the public are welcome to attend.