The Environment, Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust (ECOED) is receiving $16,090 to support predator control in the Kaweka Forest Park as part of Save Our Kiwi Hawke’s Bay.
The project protects the Kaweka population of brown kiwi with a 5300ha trapping network. ECOED recently celebrated the release of the 300th creched kiwi into the park.
Volunteers and other park users currently maintain over 500 mustelid and cat traps to support the protection of adult kiwi and other species in the forest park.
ECOED General Manager Kahori Nakagawa says the funds will be used to upgrade and enhance the existing trap network, providing better protection for kiwi in the area.
“Upgrading the current network and adding more traps will reduce predator levels and the rate of reinvasion into the area we manage for kiwi. We hope to see greater survival of adult and juvenile kiwi.
“We know of two major ferret incursions since 1999 which have caused significant loss to the kiwi population and devastation to the hard-working volunteers. Bulking up our network will provide better protection to kiwi when ferret numbers do rise.”
And it’s not just kiwi that will benefit from the traplines, says DOC Biodiversity Ranger Kelly Eaton.
“The Kaweka Forest Park is the largest remaining native forest in the Hawke’s Bay region and home to a wide range of indigenous fauna and flora, such as whio, kārearea/falcon, kākā, yellow-crowned kākāriki, Powelliphanta snails, dactylanthus and native mistletoe.
“Whio are a regular sighting along rivers in the trapped areas, and kākā are likely benefiting from the protection too. Collaborations like this with our community are making gains for wildlife recovery that no one agency can achieve on its own.”
Kahori Nakagawa says ECOED is excited to be a recipient of the funding.
“Our volunteers are extremely dedicated and this successful funding bid helps boost morale following a season affected by stoat predation. To be able to support the collective goals of local groups, businesses and individuals who are invested in the restoration of the park is an awesome achievement.
“Kiwi listening results show good steady population growth. If you listen carefully when exploring the park at night, you may just hear a brown kiwi.”
Save Our Kiwi Hawke’s Bay is run by ECOED with support from Kiwis for Kiwi, DOC, Pan Pac, East Kaweka Helicopters, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, tramping and hunting groups, iwi, local businesses, surrounding landowners and other park users.