Historically the Trust conducted research and Operation Nest Egg to boost and manage a significant population of kiwis in a pine forest – Waimarino Forest.
“Operation Nest Egg” is a kiwi management tool where eggs are retrieved from nests, raised in captivity and the resulting chicks returned to wild situations.
Now the Whakamanu Wildlife Trust conducts Operation Nest Egg and pest control measures on Manunui, a privately owned Open Space Covenant adjacent to Waimarino Forest. In addition we run Kiwi Aversion dog training for locals to comply with hunting permits and to protect kiwi generally.
We monitor a number of breeding adult male kiwis, retrieve their eggs from nests at around 60 days incubation, take the eggs to “Kiwi Encounter” at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, where they are incubated, hatched, and raised to 1000gm which is a stoat proof weight. Then we bring the young birds back to Manunui and release them into the predator control areas.
We aim to eliminate the use of Operation Nest Egg (O.N.E.) by 2018, in favour of continuous and intensive pest control, but need to test the efficacy of our current pest control by conducting O.N.E. to obtain survival and dispersal data from a sample of juveniles over a three year period.
We complement, liaise, and co-operate with Kiwi Recovery work around the greater Ruapehu Region, working to support larger projects where possible and maintain a close co-operative association with neighbours Ernslaw One Ltd, and the Department of Conservation’s Kiwi Recovery Group.