4 Jun 2011

Dog leashes urged as kiwi numbers decline

2:26 pm on 4 June 2011

Dog owners are being urged to keep dogs leashed or at home when they visit areas where kiwi are known to live, as kiwi numbers continue to decline.

An estimated 16,500 kiwi have been killed in the past decade, bringing the total population to around 70,300.

The National Kiwi Recovery Group says the greatest concern lies with the brown kiwi.

Group leader Avi Holzapfell says dogs have killed 20 electronically monitored adult kiwi in the past two years, a figure that can be multiplied by 10 to account for non-monitored birds.

He says often well-behaved family dogs accidentally kill kiwi by holding them down with a paw, or in their mouths.

Ferrets are also emerging as a threat to adult kiwi in the North Island with several deaths in the past two years at Mt Bruce and Tongariro National Park.