Kiwi stud Two Toes retires

Two Toes is now completely free of his monitoring and tracking device in the Tanekaha predator controlled area.

Much loved kiwi breeding stud “Two Toes” has been released for the last time at the Tanekaha Community Pest Control Area in Northland.

He’s now completely free of his tracking device after 10 years of close full time monitoring and huge breeding success.

Two Toes will retire with his “kiwi-wife” Blinky into Tanekaha’s 800 hectares of predator controlled farmland, native bush and pine forest on the edge of the Hikurangi swamp.

The Tanekaha community pest controlled area (CPCA) is part of the Hikurangi Living Water catchment.

Living Water, a 10 year partnership between Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC), works with farmers, iwi, hapu, community groups and key stakeholders to improve the abundance and variety of native wildlife and water quality in five catchments within significant dairying regions.

In May Living Water supported the release of twelve kiwi into the Tanekaha CPCA through its regional community initiatives fund. The kiwi were moved from predator-free Motuora Island, a “kiwi crèche” in the Hauraki Gulf.

“Two Toes and Blinky have done a wonderful job,” says Tanekaha CPCA Co-ordinator Edwin Smith.

“This lovely pair has greatly bolstered the local kiwi population. They’ve produced hatchlings three times each year since we took over monitoring from DOC five years ago.”

Two Toes was originally found injured and caught in a predator trap, then rehabilitated at the Whangarei Bird Recovery Centre before his release into Tanekaha ten years ago. His injury caused him to lose one of his toes, giving him the name Two Toes.

“Now that we have nine new monitored breeding males, it’s time for Two Toes to retire from monitored breeding, and for him and Blinky to live freely and safely in the area.”

In the last five years Two Toes and Blinky have produced many viable eggs at Tanekaha, which have been moved for hatching at Auckland Zoo before being released on Motuora, and predator-free Matakohe/Limestone Island in Whangarei Harbour. Another three kiwi chicks have been successfully raised from the Tanekaha pair’s hatchlings, to a less predator prone weight of 1.2kg, before being reintroduced to their natural habitat. 


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