News | 22 August 2023
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How to look after kiwi in your backyard

Did you know that there are over 100 North Island brown kiwi roaming the hills of Pōneke?

Since 2018, The Capital Kiwi Project has partnered with locals, iwi and landowners to prepare Wellington’s western hills for the return of kiwi. Now, over 100 kiwi have been released into the area. Here is how you can look after them.

A person wearing a green jacket holding a kiwi.

Kiwi have likely been extinct in Wellington for over 150 years, and the Capital Kiwi Project has been working in partnership with Wellington City Council to prepare for their return. 

The Capital Kiwi Project has deployed the country’s largest community-owned network of 4,500 traps covering 24,000 hectares of Wellington’s western hills – an area bigger than Abel Tasman National Park. The network has removed thousands of predators from the landscape. 

Most of the adult North Island brown kiwi that have been released are not monitored or tracked. This is part of the commitment to building a wild, free-ranging kiwi population on Wellington’s back doorstep. Another 200 kiwi will be released over the coming years.

The homecoming kiwi that are monitored are thriving: pairing up and putting on weight. Here’s how you can support to look after them as they continue to move.

Person holding onto a kiwi.

Be cautious of kiwi when out and about with dogs

  • Take the lead in responsibly exercising your dogs, including keeping them on a lead in WCC reserves: Mākara Peak, the Skyline Track, and Karori and Mākara cemeteries. 
  • Keep an eye out for visiting dogs and keep them on leads.
  • Keep your dog securely contained at night and report any roaming or missing dogs immediately. 

Stoats are the number one threat to kiwi chicks but these are controlled to suitable levels. An adult kiwi’s big claws can fend off stoats, cats and possums. The biggest threat to kiwi is now uncontrolled dogs. A kiwi is a tough and resilient animal but a bite from a dog will probably be fatal. 

View of the skyline walkway.

Be aware of kiwi in your backyard

And don't a good guardian of kiwi! 

Residents of the suburbs bordering the scrub, forests and farmland in the south-west of Wellington are now the guardians of kiwi. Wild kiwi now live close to you and, from now on, people will begin to encounter them! 

Find out more about kiwis through The Capital Kiwi Project.