Introduction

Three kiwi have been killed in recent dog attacks on Kawau Island. DOC is investigating the attacks as kiwi are a protected native species.

Date:  17 July 2017

Two of the dead kiwi were found in the Kawau Island Historic Reserve, the area of the island managed by DOC. They were found in the Dispute Cove area. One on Copper Mine Track leading to the historic Copper Mine Engine House. The other at the Copper Mine Lookout.

A third dead kiwi was found at School House Bay during the weekend. Its fatal injuries were consistent with a dog attack. The body will be sent to Massey University's Wildbase Hospital pathology unit for a necropsy, a post mortem on an animal.

Necropsies performed on the dead kiwi found in Dispute Cove confirmed both died from injuries suffered in a dog attack. The necropsies found both kiwi died from multiple bone fractures and rupturing of their internal organs after being bitten by a dog and violently shaken.

"It's deeply disappointing to find a dog attack has killed these kiwi. That's because we know these deaths can be prevented if owners keep their dogs under control," says DOC Auckland Operations Manager Keith Gell.

Dogs are the number one killer of adult kiwi. Dogs are attracted to kiwi by their strong smell. Any dog, large or small, can easily crush a kiwi in its mouth because kiwi have no sternum or breastplate.

"We need all dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept under control at all times. If dogs are left to roam, they will kill kiwi," says Keith Gell.

"It's essential Kawau residents, in particular, keep their dogs under control at all times, day and night. They're privileged to have kiwi living right on their doorstep. With this privilege comes the responsibility of ensuring their dogs are not left to roam the island and kill kiwi," says, Keith Gell.

"We're telling Kawau residents, directly through door knocking and through the Kawau Island Residents and Ratepayers Association, that a dog or dogs is killing kiwi on the island and it has to stop," says Keith Gell.

Dogs are not allowed in the DOC managed historic reserve on Kawau to protect kiwi and other native wildlife. DOC staff on Kawau are patrolling the reserve during the day and at night looking for the dog or dogs responsible for the attacks.

Kawau is just over 2000 hectares in size. DOC manages around 10% of Kawau. The other 90% of the island is privately owned with 70 to 80 permanent residents and about 300 holiday homes.

Contacts

For media enquiries contact:

Nick Hirst, DOC Communications Advisor
Phone: +64 9 307 4846 
Mobile: +64 27 704 7773
Email: nhirst@doc.govt.nz 

Back to top