Thanks to its position at the end of a narrow peninsula and the sustained predator control in and around the reserve, Bream Head Scenic Reserve is home to a healthy kiwi population. Observant visitors can see kiwi droppings on most tracks through the reserve, kiwi calls are abundant in the early evenings and kiwi sightings by no means rare. Given the scarcity of kiwi elsewhere on New Zealand’s two largest islands this is a very happy situation. Despite this the Trust is attempting to improve the kiwi population, mainly by bringing kiwi from other areas to increase genetic diversity within our resident population.
Kiwi Release March 2016
Bream Head Conservation Trust successfully released two beautiful young kiwi at the back of Dave and Pauline Asphin’s property on Ocean Beach Road on Tuesday 22nd of March 2016. This event was again in association with Kiwis for Kiwi, Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum with support from Limestone/Matakohe Island, DOC and Kiwi Coast. The birds were part of Operation Nest Egg, an initiative to recover kiwi populations. They were uplifted from Whangarei’s Western reserves as young chicks by Todd Hamilton (Backyard Kiwi) and carefully translocated to Matakohe Island where they were raised until they were 1kg in weight and then ready for their final release at Bream Head. Approximately 120 people (mainly visitors to the region) enjoyed an excellent presentation about Kiwi and their positive recovery at Whangarei Heads over the past 10-15 years (approx. 10%+ increase in Kiwi population compared to the national average of 2% decline)! Todd Hamilton was again on fire with the crowd due to his passion, knowledge and excellent presentation skills, he even had them chanting back what people needed to do in Northland to help Kiwi recover…control their dogs!!
A big thank you again to Todd for all the permit, funding, reporting and release work he puts into these events and his ongoing passion in our community for kiwi recovery. An equally warm thank you also to Bernie Buhler (now former Matakohe/Limestone Island ranger) for working closely with Todd to raise and then release these birds at Bream Head and the other locations in our region.