Motuora, an 80 hectare island in the Hauraki Gulf, recently became home to more of New Zealand’s endangered species, with the release of another North Island brown kiwi.
TrustLine newsletter, March 2012
The event came after years of work by 150 volunteers from the Moturoa Restoration Society, who have been working to restore flora and fauna on the island since 1985. Because of its predator-free state, Motuora has been used as a kiwi creche by Operation Nest-Egg since 1999, allowing young kiwi to grow big enough to defend themselves before being moved to mainland locations.
This season 21 kiwi have been released on Motuora and it’s hoped that before the end of the season the number released since the project began in 1998 will reach or pass the 250 mark.
As well as the kiwi, Motuora has become a safe haven for other native refugees, including whiteheads, Duvauchel’s geckos and the Little Barrier giant weta. Since 1995 volunteers from the Motuora Restoration Society have been donating up to 100 hours a week to restoration work on the island, including planting and plant nursery work, translocation of birds, lizards and invertebrates.
With the island predator-free, the main threat to the restoration project is invasive weeds, which the volunteers work to control. Last year their efforts were helped by an ASB Community Trust grant of just over $20,000, which went towards controlling weeds, particularly those growing on the cliffs and other hard-to-reach areas.