It’s that time of year again when we sit out in the dark and listen for those precious kiwi we’ve been working hard to protect!
All over Northland keen-eared kiwi listeners are dusting off their winter woollies and sitting out on cold dark hillsides as the Annual Kiwi Call Count Survey gets under way for another year.
The monitoring method involves recording all kiwi calls heard over a 2 hour period on 4 nights. Special dates are chosen each year by the national Kiwi Recovery Group, to coincide with the darker phases of the moon.
Counting the number of kiwi calls is simple but effective way of monitoring kiwi.
When calls are monitored in the same place over several years, it builds a picture of what is happening with kiwi numbers and distribution – are people hearing more, fewer or the same number of birds? Are they in the same places, a smaller area, or has the population expanded over more ground?
When a kiwi population is being looked after with good mustelid control and good dog control, the call count results should show the benefits.
Kiwi Call Count Survey’s have been carried out in Northland each year for the past 15 years.
Kiwi Coast’s new Listening App has been developed for Northland projects to help make the task easier and is available for the first time this year.
Groups and projects needing to check the survey dates, brush up on the Kiwi Call Count Survey method, Kiwi Coast Kiwi Listening Device Instructions or download the official Kiwi Call Count Sheet or app can find it all on the Kiwi Coast website.
Those using Kiwi Listening Devices should book these as soon as possible with DOC, Kiwi Coast or NRC so we can help get them out to everyone and rotate them around the sites in time.
For Public Conservation Land, the Department of Conservation has advised that the Kiwi Call Count Survey can proceed on under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, subject to conditions. You will need to get in touch with your local DOC Community contact and provide an updated Health and Safety Plan that shows how you plan to meet Level 2 conditions.
Good luck to all listeners. Keep safe, keep warm and remember to send in your data to your Department of Conservation area office or your local Kiwi Listening Coordinator whether you are using paper sheets or the listening app!
Just get in touch if with DOC or Kiwi Coast if you need more help with this or any aspect of Kiwi Listening in 2020.