29 Jun 2010

Hopes relocated kiwi will multiply

7:13 pm on 29 June 2010

Three pairs of the rarest kiwi have been moved from their natural habitat to a new home for the first time to encourage breeding.

Until now, the critically endangered rowi, of which there are only about 350, were found only in Okarito on the West Coast.

The Department of Conservation on Tuesday released three pairs, which have not yet bred, on the predator-free Blumine Island in the Marlborough Sounds.

DOC's Franz Josef biodiversity programme manager, Jim Livingstone, says it is hoped the warmer climate, food-rich soils and lack of predators will motivate the birds to reproduce.

Mr Livingstone says DOC will continue moving unproductive rowi to the island until it reaches capacity.