Little spotted kiwi for Shakespear Open Sanctuary

The predator proof gate at Shakespear Open Sanctuary is being replaced after it was hit by a vehicle. INSET: Matt Maitland.

The predator proof gate at Shakespear Open Sanctuary is being replaced after it was hit by a vehicle. INSET: Matt Maitland.

Plans to introduce rare little spotted kiwi to Shakespear Regional Park will go ahead despite a vehicle ramming into the pest-free gate near the entrance of the reserve, damaging the gate.

The gate was hit by a vehicle around midnight on 28 January and police are following up using CCTV footage.

This follows another incident in early January when a car hit the fence posts in the Army Bay car park approach, near Whangaparaoa Rd

Little Spotted Kiwi will soon be running wild in Shakespear Open Sanctuary..
Supplied

Little Spotted Kiwi will soon be running wild in Shakespear Open Sanctuary..

Auckland Council's senior ranger for open sanctuaries, Matt Maitland, is confident no animals got into the reserve, and says they wouldn't have lasted long if they had.

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"With a surveillance network across the 500 hectares of the sanctuary - about 1 per hectare - any animals that do get in make themselves known pretty quickly," he says.

Gregarious whitehead were the first translocated bird at Shakespear Open Sanctuary.
Supplied

Gregarious whitehead were the first translocated bird at Shakespear Open Sanctuary.

All gates in the fence are monitored and a temporary fence has been installed until the replacement arrives in a few days time.

Damage to the predator fence gate near Army Bay and the entrance to New Zealand Defence Force land will have no impact on future plans for the sanctuary, Maitland says.

Little spotted, or gray, kiwi are the smallest kiwi and have populations dotted around 11 different sites including Tiritiri Matangi Island, off Shakespear's shores. The biggest population of 1200 birds lives on Kapiti Island.

North Island Robin released at Tawharanui have thrived but are now vulnerable to rats as they spill outside the sanctuary.
SUPPLIED

North Island Robin released at Tawharanui have thrived but are now vulnerable to rats as they spill outside the sanctuary.

To strengthen genetic lines of the 1500 remaining birds, 10 female kiwi will be transferred from Tiritiri Matangi Island and 10 males from Kapiti Island in late April or early May. Another 20 birds will come in 2018, all from Kapiti Island.

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This adds to the already successful reintroduction of 40 gregarious whitehead and 40 North Island robin to the park over the last couple of years. Both bird populations have successfully bred and can now be found throughout the park and along the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Incorporated (Sossi) chairman Peter Jackson says.

The robin are particularly vulnerable to rats so the efforts of the Hibiscus Coast Forest and Bird to clear the peninsula of pests is important and going well, he says.

Seventy-metres of low fencing is required before the kiwi arrive. 

So they can't get around the ends of the predator fence, a low fence will attach to the predator fence, continue back beside the shoreline, and end at a high spot where the birds can't get down onto the beach, Jackson says.

The park has to deal with a lot of potential incursions from the 600,000 annual visitor numbers and day to day activities like farming so the traps or bait stations, tracking panels are pretty robust, he says.

The gates are also robust. The two main gates in and out of the park have opened and closed around a million times since they went in five years ago.

 - Stuff

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