Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Peter
Kirkman and Southern Discoveries marketing co-ordinator
Anita Golden prepare one of two kiwi for release at Sinbad
Gully, Fiordland, on Thursday. Photo supplied.
Staff from the Department of Conservation and Southern
Discoveries spent more than a week camping in Sinbad Gully, at
the base of Mitre Peak, playing recorded kiwi calls, to ensure
the safety of a pair of breeding kiwi before their release this
The birds were introduced to the area as part of the Sinbad
Sanctuary Project, an initiative funded by Doc, Southern
Discoveries and the Fiordland Conservation Trust, which aims
to protect the habitat of rare species in the area, working
to provide an environment free of pests like stoats, rats and
Doc Te Anau Area manager Reg Kemper said the plan was to
release the birds into the middle of the valley where they
were "reasonably certain" there were no kiwi in close
Kiwi were territorial and "could be aggressive towards
trespassers", Mr Kemper said.
"We're focused on taking practical steps to ensure the
survival and safety of kiwi.
"Great efforts have been made to ensure the birds will fit in
perfectly at Sinbad Gully."
After camping out and repeatedly playing the recorded kiwi
calls and receiving no response from others, the group
decided to transfer the breeding pair.
Mr Kemper said the Sinbad Sanctuary Project had proven to be
"extremely successful" through predator control and
consequently afforded the kiwi a "high level of protection".
Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson said the
company was delighted: "It's very rewarding for us that we
have reduced the pest population to such a degree within the
first two years of the sanctuary project Doc is willing to
increase the kiwi population in the valley."