Posted by Anna – Rowi Field Ranger
Thursday, April 21st, 2011 at 10:06 am
It has been six months since the community helped us release a total of 35 juvenile rowi into Okarito forest – the biggest one-day release in the history of BNZ Operation Nest Egg in Okarito. Some of the young birds made history by being released into north Okarito forest – an area that they have not been recorded living in for many decades.
For the DOC staff, this moment is one of the most amazing times of year….seeing our rowi chicks heading back into the forest to live and eventually produce chicks of their own!
On Friday myself and our Community Relations Ranger, Cornelia, joined Rachael who is studying rowi for her PhD, to visit Whataroa School. We had been invited to talk to the students about their new kiwi neighbours in north Okarito forest.
Me and the awesome students at Whataroa.
These pioneering birds are being monitored closely by the DOC team and Rachael to make sure that the habitat is suitable for them and that they are gaining weight as they should.
For the first time in many years, the people of Whataroa have kiwi living almost on their doorsteps – close enough to hear them calling at night! The students of Whataroa School have adopted these young birds and will be involved in recording their progress into the future.
The students have named each kiwi, and will keep track of what the birds do, where they go and how they behave. Students and their families will also have the opportunity to accompany DOC rangers when they go to check up on the birds and get to know the rowi personally.
Whataroa School students already know a great deal about how to look after kiwi, and many families already trap rats and stoats on their properties. With a team like Whataroa School behind them, the rowi of north Okarito forest have a bright future!
Posted by savethekiwi
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 at 10:02 am
Apologies for the long gap since our last post. I work with the rowi team to get these online but unfortunately got caught up with emergency work after the tragic Christchurch earthquake. Now that things have quietened down, we’re hoping to resume our weekly updates so stay tuned. Here’s the first from Rowi Ranger Iain Graham…
Late last year, BNZ ran a competition for all their customers who held a Kiwi eftpos card. The lucky winner was Dianne Phillips from Wellington. Dianne’s prize consisted of flights, accommodation in picton and a trip out to Motuara island to release a few kiwi chicks from our most recent season.
Sarah and I were up early on Monday morning to meet the enthusiastic winners of this great prize at the wharf in picton. We had to give them a quick safety brief before heading on our way. The Marlborough weather was as good as ever as we departed Picton and the early morning heat promised a scorching hot day.
On the trip out we got to know Dianne, her daughter and two grandkids and told them a bit about the project and what we do in our jobs. The ride out was a little rough, however we managed to get the birds out of their boxes and get some of the transmitters applied before getting to the island. Our crew were naturals and dealt easily with the young kiwis kicking and scratching while Sarah and I applied their transmitters.
Diane(with rowi), Sarah and Iain.
When we arrived at motuara we ferried the birds to a terrace halfway up the island before Dianne and her family had the chance to release them into their new homes. From here we took them on a quick tour of the island and relayed some of the local history before heading back to the wharf for their pickup.
Tia holds a young rowi for the transmitter change.
We got some great feedback and it felt amazing to give Dianne and her family some memories to treasure for years to come.
After the success of this trip we plan to do it all over again this year so get into your local BNZ and sign up for a Kiwi eftpos card and next time it could be you exploring motuara with us.
Camdyn helps Sarah release a rowi into its new home.