Risks From Translocating Kapiti Kiwi

May 26, 2018

Translocation of Kiwi from Kapiti Island to Shakespear Open Sanctuary at Gulf Harbour just north of Auckland has suffered a setback.

 

Earlier this year 20 little spotted kiwi were brought to Shakespear from Kapiti Island,

complementing an original population of 20 birds introduced from Tiritiri Matangi and Kapiti islands in April last year.

 

Senior Ranger Matt Maitland says despite five fatalities caused by avian malaria, rangers and

community volunteers at Shakespear Regional Park are confident that the burgeoning kiwi population can thrive at the pest-free open sanctuary.

 

He says the naturally occurring disease is carried by small birds and is transmitted by mosquitos and there is no vaccine or viable treatment options for a wild population.

 

Mr Maitland says Avian malaria is not always fatal, and there is evidence of other native bird and kiwi populations that have been infected and then survived and gone on

to breed well.

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