First wild kiwi egg laid in Wellington in over a century

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One of 11 North Island brown kiwis released last year at Mākara in Wellington has laid the region’s first wild kiwi egg in over 100 years. Archive photo
Photo: D.O.C. / Rod Morris

A wild kiwi egg has been laid in Wellington for the first time in over 100 years.

Last November, 11 brown kiwis from the North Island were released into the Mākara Hills after an ambitious pest eradication project.

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The project leader, Paul Stanley Ward of Capital Kiwi, said they were monitored weekly via transmitters on their legs.

The team was interested in looking at the well-being of the birds in that environment, he said.

“We want to know if they are happy in the wild. Some of these birds have spent most of their lives in captivity.”

Ward said the birds were all fine at this point, eating well, and in an exciting discovery, an egg was found at a recent checkup.

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“That’s our first wild kiwi egg on those hills in a long time. For the team and for the hundreds of landowners, the locals and the iwi mana whenua who have supported this project, it’s pretty good news for the new year.”

The last recorded kiwi in the region was in the Tararua Range around the mid-1870s, Ward said.

“As our kiwi managers will tell us, you can’t count your kiwis until they come out, but it’s an important moment and something we’re really excited about.”

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