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Little spotted kiwi move to Auckland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/04/2017

Ten male little spotted kiwi from Tiritiri Matangi Island and 10 females from Kapiti Island are being released in the Shakespear Open Sanctuary in Auckland.

The release on Saturday is part of an effort to increase the population size and strengthen the genetic integrity of the smallest and second-rarest of kiwi species.

Mayor Phil Goff says establishing a thriving population in a new location is a complicated process but the potential rewards for the species are significant.

"Reintroducing little spotted kiwi to Shakespear is part of a multi-site programme undertaken by Auckland Council," he says.

Shakespear is a fenced 500-hectare wildlife sanctuary which has been pest-free for five years.

This release follows on from the successful return of the North Island brown kiwi to the Hunua Ranges last month after 50 years.

The kiwi will be welcomed with a powhiri from Ngati Manuhiri, before being released in secluded bush areas across regional park and New Zealand Defence Force land within the sanctuary.

The council hopes to release a further 20 little spotted kiwi to Shakespear in the next few years to establish a genetically thriving founder population.

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