A treasured kiwi known as a top breeder for Operation Nest Egg has been killed by a dog in a Whangarei kiwi sanctuary.
Department of Conservation rangers found the adult male kiwi dead on Tuesday in the Purua Scenic Reserve, the home of an estimated 1200 kiwi.
DoC warned last week two dogs were loose in the area but rangers failed to locate them.
Spokesperson Sioux Campbell says the kiwi, known as Stripe, had been monitored since 1995 and staff are devastated by the killing.
She said he survived at least one stoat attack in his burrow.
Ms Campbell says Stripe was incubating two eggs at the time he was killed, and it's possible the dogs could go on to kill more kiwi in the sanctuary if they're not found.