6 Aug 2012

Forest firm working with trust to protect brown kiwi

6:30 am on 6 August 2012

The forest company Ernslaw One has started a partnership with the Project Kiwi Trust, to monitor and protect the population of brown kiwi in its Coromandel forest.

The 10,500-hectare Whangapoua forest near Whitianga includes strips of native bush and large areas of wildlife refuges and corridors.

Ernslaw One regional manager Steve Couper says five years ago, as part of its resource consent, the company created a safe haven inside 1500 hectares of the forest for kiwi and other native species.

He says since then a contractor has been used to do the predator control, but Project Kiwi is likely to get a better overall result.

Mr Couper says they have already been trapping stoats, rats, mice and cats on the block, as well as having a possum control programme.

He says it's an intensive regime that benefits not just the brown kiwi but all biodiversity within that block - and because the forest borders farmland, there could be indirect benefits for local landowners.

Mr Couper says a baseline survey has just been done, so it will be interesting to see what the numbers are over the next two or three years.