Tanekaha CPCA

About the Tanekaha CPCA

Located North-West of Hikurangi, the Tanekaha Community Pest Control Area was established in 2012 by local farmers wanting to see kiwi returned to the area.

Predator numbers had reached a point where it was no longer safe for kiwi eggs to remain in the area – 95% of chicks were being killed within six months of hatching.

The farming community signed an agreement with Northland Regional Council to create a 2900 hectare pest-control area.

The goal was to reduce pests to make the area a safer environment for kiwi and other native birds to survive.

"Our farming community decided it was up to us to turn this around and get our kiwi back." – Edwin Smith, co-ordinator of the Tanekaha Community Pest Control Area.

Edwin Smith with a kiwi in the bush.Edwin Smith, co-ordinator of the Tanekaha Community Pest Control Area places a kiwi back into the bush.

Kiwi recovery

By 2012, kiwi in the Tanekaha area had dwindled to just one pair known as Binky and Two-Toes.

While the pair were still producing eggs, there were too many predators in the area so the eggs had to be incubated and raised elsewhere.

Now after years of community pest control by local farmers, the Tanekaha area is safe, once again, for kiwi.

Twelve North Island brown kiwi were released into the area in May 2016, and there are plans to release up to 20 kiwi over the next few years.

This should provide a solid foundation to build a self-sustaining breeding population of kiwi in the area.

Rolf Fuchs from DOC holding a kiwi.Rolf Fuchs from DOC shows the kiwi to Tanekaha locals.

Predator trapping

Baiting a trap with an egg.Tanekaha CPCA trapper Todd Hamilton and Edwin Smith bait the trap with an egg.

Animal pests controlled in the Tanekaha area include stoats, weasels, ferrets, rats, feral cats, hedgehogs and possums.

A network of predator traps was established throughout 800 hectares of the land, with help from Northland Regional Council.

The traps are checked regularly by a professional trapper, who has also helped upskill and mentor the local farmers on pest control methods.

Roaming dogs are one of the biggest threats to adult kiwi. The community in the Tanekaha area now ensure their dogs are kept under control to help protect kiwi.

Along with the trapping, periodic poison applications are helping to keep predator numbers low so kiwi numbers can recover.

Possum and rat control

Possum and rats are controlled in Tanekaha area using periodic poison applications – it's more effective than trapping for operations of this scale.

A network of bait stations established throughout 800 hectares of the land, with help from Northland Regional Council and Living Waters.

The bait stations are serviced every one to two years (depending on pest populations) by locals with agency support.

Secondary poisoning, where another predator eats a poisoned rat or possum, also helps keep other predator numbers low.

Roaming dogs are one of the biggest threats to adult kiwi. The community in the Tanekaha area now ensure their dogs are kept under control to help protect kiwi.

Results

Thanks to the hard work of local farmers and project partners, Tanekaha's kiwi now have a good chance of surviving and successfully breeding in the wild.

The trapping network is proving effective – pest animals caught over 2015 included 269 rats, 27 possums, 69 hedgehogs, 14 feral cats, 18 stoats and 10 rabbits.

Before the 12 kiwi were released in May 2016, kiwi calls averaged at just 1.7 per hour.

Now the shrill call of the kiwi is being heard much more frequently through the night. The next round of kiwi call monitoring should reflect this increase.

"It is communities and farmers like Tanekaha that are shaping a great future for Northland's biodiversity." – Don McKenzie, Biosecurity Manager, Northland Regional Council.

Results from trapping in 2015.

Partners

Along with Northland Regional Council, a number of organisations are supporting the local farmers with the Tanekaha Community Pest Control Area.

The Department of Conservation has led the work around translocation of the kiwi, and is helping the community monitor the birds and providing technical advice.

Kiwi eggs have previously been incubated by Auckland Zoo and Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre.

The Living Water partnership between Fonterra and Department of Conservation covered the cost of transporting the kiwi from their “crèche” on Motuora to Tanekaha, plus transmitter equipment for the kiwi.

NZ Landcare Trust has supported Tanekaha from the beginning, providing technical advice and support.

Tanekaha CPCA is part of the Kiwi Coast, a project helping to support and connect community-led kiwi recovery along the east coast of Northland.

Kiwis for Kiwi have supported Tanekaha CPCA with funding to continue to trap pest and monitor kiwi.

Our partners in action.

More information

Find out more about Community Pest Control Areas

Check out and 'like' the Tanekaha Kiwi Relocation Facebook page

Go to the Tanekaha Kiwi Relocation Facebook page. (Opens in a new window).

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