The Ōtanewainuku Kiwi Trust is a community based conservation Trust formed in 2002 by Te Puke Forest and Bird, and other members of the community concerned at the decline of North Island brown kiwi in the Ōtanewainuku Forest.
The Trust operates under a Community Agreement with the Department of Conservation (DOC), who administers the land and provides technical advice and guidance on pest control and translocation of birds.
“To protect and restore the indigenous ecosystem and biodiversity of Ōtanewainuku”.
The Trust manages Kiwi and Kokako reintroductions and carries out intensive predator control – targeting stoats, rats and possums. All dogs are banned from the forest. Volunteers maintain the Trust’s integrated pest management programme, which has benefits for all plants and animals at Ōtanewainuku, including brown kiwi and Kokako
The total forest area is 1200 hectares, and volunteers maintain the stoat trap lines and bait stations which cover 1100 hectares of forest to reduce pest numbers and give the best chance of our birds breeding in the forest.
The Trust work with the kiwi breeding program Project One (Operation Nest Egg). The kiwi in the forest have radio tracking devices, and fertilised kiwi eggs are taken to a specialised incubation facility at Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua to give them the best chance of survival. Here the chicks remain in a controlled environment for five to six months to become big enough (at least 1kg) to defend themselves against most predators once they are released. Volunteers also carry out kiwi listening surveys over 20 sites to estimate the numbers of mature kiwi within the Ōtanewainuku forest.
Ōtanewainuku also have kokako translocated from two other Bay of Plenty forests, Kaharoa and Rotoehu which are flourishing, as are many other native species such as robins, tomtits, kereru and native long-tail bats.
How to Help
Volunteer activities include pest mammal trapping, trap line maintenance, administration, governance and taking care of the BBQ at work days. Volunteers also spend time acting as guides for visitors, especially school parties, providing valuable education on native flora and fauna, and conservation efforts within New Zealand.
Find Out More
Check out the links below to find out more about Ōtanewainuku Kiwi Trust.