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2007 News Archives

Here are  some of our archived news stories from 2007:

Here's a shot taken of wee Matamua not long after he was born at Mt Bruce Wildlife Reserve

Our first baby Kiwi has hatched!

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of our first baby Kiwi since the repatriation of North Island Brown Kiwi into a specially-prepared area of the Rimutaka Forest Park in May 2006. This feisty little fellow named Matamua (or "first born" in Maori) is now putting on weight at the Mt Bruce Wildlife Reserve, where he will be kept until attaining a stoat-fighting weight of 1,200 grams...(More)

What a cutey! Our 2nd kiwi chick is seen here soon after hatching.

Second Kiwi Chick for Rimutaka Forest Park

December 2007: - Rimutaka Forest Park kiwi have produced a second chick. The egg was incubated at Department of Conservation's Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre and hatched on 6 December. It was one of two originally incubated by father Tahunahuna after being laid by Manaia, but the other was found to be not viable.

DoC staff at Pukaha Mt Bruce say the chick is developing normally and has shown signs of being able to feed itself as it would in the wild. However, the chick will not be released into the park until it weighs 1200g and is capable of fighting off introduced predators. It will join the six remaining birds that were introduced into the park in May 2006, as well as Matamua (first born), the chick that hatched early in February.

Matamua has grown to adult size, and will be released back into the park around February 2008 when the peak stoat breeding season is over. Meanwhile another egg, initially incubated by Matamua’s father Waikiwianui and thought to be laid by Potiki, is being cared for at Pukaha Mt Bruce.

Rimutaka Forest Park Trust volunteer Melody McLaughlin observed the early stages of the chick’s hatching. “The egg was rocking gently, and the chick was making little noises. It was magical to think of this little miracle inside the egg talking to you.”

She has since visited the new chick. “Its feathers are such a pretty reddish colour, I wonder if it’s a girl,” she says. “I noticed Waikiwianui’s egg rocking too. That’s a sign of another healthy chick that should hatch within the next two or three weeks.”

Project co-ordinator Bill McCabe says the birds’ breeding is a good sign the kiwi population in the park will flourish. “With the planned release of Matamua and possibly more adults this year, the project has a bright future.”

For further information contact volunteer Annette Harvey, phone 04 801 2794 x 6777 (w) or 04 389 4521(h), Melody McLaughlin, phone 04 564 6213, or Bill McCabe, phone 04 564 5029.

(Prepared on behalf on Rimutaka Forest Park Trust by Margaret Willard, phone 04 973 1378.)

James and Percy tracked down our escapee Waikiwianui so that he could be re-tagged. 

Our wily wanderer, Waikiwianui, was recently recaptured, thanks to James Fraser and dog, Percy, shown above!! His previously rejected radio transmitter was replaced and - after a thorough health check - he was re-released.
(Full story by Margaret Willard, below) 

Little Barrier Island as seen from the North Island of New Zealand

Above: Little Barrier Island, as seen from the North Island of New Zealand

Rimutaka Kiwi death not due to predation

December 2007: - One of the eight kiwi released into Rimutaka Forest Park during 2006 has been found dead in a burrow near where he had been incubating two eggs.

Readings from his transmitter signal showed Milo had died on 21 October, and there was no sign of trauma to indicate predator attack. Preliminary autopsy results show the possible cause of death to be enteritis.

Rimutaka Forest Park Trust volunteer Annette Harvey says he was found in a deep burrow after his transmitter gave a mortality signal. “We are so sad that he died, especially before leaving any offspring.” However, she says, “Because predation is not involved, his death won’t have a significant long term effect on the kiwi project.”

Milo’s eggs were later retrieved from his nesting burrow. Both had been fertile, but one was rotten after being cracked by Milo’s claw. Milo’s death is the second fatality after Koniwi’s death from age-related causes late in 2006. Ten-month-old Matamua and a new chick hatched early in December bring the total current number of birds to eight, with the prospect of another offspring and possible further adult releases during 2008.  

(Prepared on behalf on Rimutaka Forest Park Trust by Margaret Willard, phone 04 973 1378.)