Kiwi comes calling: New Zealand celebrates as an iconic bird returns

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Aug 12, 2021, 01:05 PM(IST)

A highly endangered North Island Brown Kiwi chick "Puta-nui," Maori for "born big" as he weighed 405 grams at birth, is weighed for the Department of Conservation's "Operation Nest Egg" at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 29 November 1999, which successfully br Photograph:( AFP )

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A kiwi call count is an annual event that uses relatively analogue technology to track how kiwi populations are doing across the region

In a recent development, an iconic bird species, which had been threatened, has now returned to patches of forests that had fallen silent.

A kiwi call count is an annual event that uses relatively analogue technology to track how kiwi populations are doing across the region. 

The data they gather is combined with the “kiwi listening blitz,” which is a higher-tech version, where recording devices are planted and analysed for calls every five years.

As per this year's data, 50% of sites that were silent in 2016 had kiwi calling in 2021. 

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“It’s amazing,” says Ngaire Sullivan, a coordinator at Kiwi Coast, an umbrella organisation that supports more than 180 iwi (tribal) and community groups in Northland.

Ayla Wiles, a biodiversity ranger for the Department of Conservation, was quoted by The Guardian as saying, "To sit out there and hear how many kiwi there are and how close they are – it makes the effort put into trapping worthwhile".

She further said that about 150 people crewed listening sites across Northland, and their data goes back 20 years. 

Also, in some places, kiwi has increased dramatically. At Whangerei Heads, they have gone from just 80 kiwis left to over 1,000. “That’s down to the trapping and animal control,” she says. “It’s a community effort”.

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