Conservationists mourn the loss of the generation he could have fathered
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A dog has attacked and killed a kiwi in Ohope, striking a blow against the local breeding program.
A resident found the dead bird behind the Ohope Beach School earlier this month.
Whakatane Kiwi Trust Team Leader ClaireTravers says the kiwi was an adult male of breeding age, so it is a huge blow for the local Kiwi population.
"It's not just him we have lost, but future generations of Kiwis that [could have] come from him”.
Travers says figuring out how kiwi died is a bit like a crime scene investigation, where the position of the bird, the injuries, and the pattern of the feathers can lead to a conclusion.
Nationwide, dogs are the biggest threat to kiwi - they’re responsible for 70% of deaths.
Overall, the kiwi population is declining by 2% every year.
The Trust and Te Runanga o Ngati Awa are working together to preserve the endangered species in the area.
In recent weeks, they celebrated the release of two kiwi, called Hui and Tanguru, into the Mokorua Scenic Reserve.
Te Runanga o Ngati Awa’s Reuben Araroa says the tribe was also heartbroken to hear about the loss.
“It's like sending our extended whanau out into the world, wishing them a safe and prosperous life ahead… it’s devastating to learn about this event.”
Both Araroa and and Claire Travers are urging dog owners to keep their animals under control.
The Trust is running courses where they train dogs to keep away from kiwi and weka, and they’re reminding owners that even small dogs can be killers.
Hero Image: The kiwi is believed to have been killed by a dog. Photo / Supplied