A project aimed at boosting numbers of Coromandel brown kiwi has begun with five birds being relocated to a pest-free island near Auckland.
Only 1500 Coromandel brown kiwi remain, and the Department of Conservation says they have been identified as genetically different to all other brown kiwi.
Five were captured in the wild on Monday night and re-located to pest-free Motutapu Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.
The island was declared free of pests last year.
DoC hopes to relocate about 60 kiwi to the island during the next six years.