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Kiwi population target: 100,000 by 2030

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/10/2016

There are fewer than 70,000 kiwis in the wild, they're decreasing at a rate of two per cent a year and the government wants to turn that around.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has set a population target of 100,000 by 2030.

"This government is not prepared to accept that our national bird is at any ongoing risk of potentially becoming extinct in their natural habitat," she said on Monday.

"The plan focuses on growing the wild kiwi population and building on the work achieved under previous plans, rather than steadying or managing decline."

Ms Barry says it's known that where kiwi are managed a two per cent population growth rate can be achieved.

"The challenge lies in scaling up those efforts and supporting them."

The plan centres on restoring kiwi distribution into predator-free natural habitats, as well as responsible dog ownership and measuring the effectiveness of what is being done.

The current decline in the kiwi population is mainly caused by stoats and dogs.

The government is putting $11.2 million into the new plan and the Department of Conservation wants to raise another $1.3m, mainly through the Kiwis for Kiwi charity.

The Greens say the government should pay for all of it.

"Our precious species need secure funding to help them, and shouldn't have to rely on charitable donations to be viable," said conservation spokeswoman Mojo Mathers.

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