We have been working hard with our tamariki in our ngahere trapping chickens, and removing pest plants in the hopes of restoring our ngahere to its former glory. We are endeavouring to look after Papatūānuku and teach kaitiakitanga – becoming guardians of our ngahere.
Today we had a very special visitor from the Department of Conservation, Christine, come to meet with us. She brought with her a taxideried Kiwi as well as a Ferret, Stoat and Weasel. She talked about these mustelids and the devastation they did to the ngahere damaging trees, eating native birds and creature that lived there. Eighty percent of Kiwi chicks never make it to adult hood due to predators such as these mustelids, rats, dogs and cats as well!
Christine uses her Kiwi in ‘avoidance training’ for dogs so we were not able to touch it. We were in awe of how big its body was, along with its very strong legs and claws. It had a super long beak with its nostril’s right at the end so it can smell a worm underground when it is looking for food! Such a treat to have Christine and her treasures visit us, a wonderful learning opportunity. We will be looking further into predator control, and what we could utilize here to help restore the bird and tree life.