The community-led project that is saving kiwi and other native bird populations along Northland's east coast.
Kiwi Coast began 4 years ago as an initiative to help join the red dots on conservation maps that represented the remnant kiwi populations struggling to survive on private land in Northland.
Today and without much fanfare, Kiwi Coast represents 94 separate contributing organisations, has a north to south spread of 291 kilometres and carries out pest control over more than 130,000 hectares. Since it began, Kiwi Coast has contributed to the removal of nearly 170,000 animal pests from Northland and re-introduced kiwi to a number of now protected sites.
What started as several small groups doing their bit to control predators and educate the public about the threat to our unique native wildlife has grown through trapping workshops, kiwi releases, and inter agency support to be the country’s largest co-ordinated community pest control project.
Ngaire Tyson has been at the forefront of this kiwi crusade, using her skills as a community co-ordinator for the Landcare Trust organisation, guided by an informal Think Tank of conservation enthusiasts, forestry managers, iwi representatives, ecologists and local body officers.
Ngaire believes that the Kiwi Coast is setting a template for engaging people in conservation at multiple levels.
Pateke with chicks
“Our kiwi are a special species, so different in so many ways that make them an icon which people find inspiring."
“But the Kiwi Coast is about more than just kiwi. When the predators are removed New Zealand’s bio-diversity at large benefits."
“Some of the species that need our assistance are so cryptic that it is difficult to see them in our landscape, let alone engage people in looking after them. "
“This is where we need images to tell the story, to tap the emotional connections that motivate people to get out and help."
After all, kiwi should have the right of passage in their own back yard.
Ngaire is a terrestrial ecologist who has worked with community-led conservation groups for over 15 years. In her current role as the Kiwi Coast Coordinator she brings together 96 entities who are working together to build New Zealand’s first kiwi corridor. Ngaire’s aim is to support and enable communities to look after their patch so that Northland brown kiwi can thrive and roam in safety, and are here for generations to come.
Malcolm is a journalist who turned to full time photography when he moved back to the family farm at Sandy Bay with is ecologist wife Nan. Over the years he has developed a love of wildlife photography which has seen his images published in many magazines, books and even as a postage stamp. His images have been used extensively by Kiwi Coast in building the organisation’s profile and in making the emotional connection that has helped engage so many groups and individuals in practical conservation work.
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