Operation Nest Egg
Kiwi Egg or Chick Transport
Where: Between Tongariro and Rotorua
Description: Teams from Tongariro Forest Kiwi Sanctuary, Karioi Rahui and Waimarino kiwi programmes will call on us to transport kiwi eggs through to Kiwi Encounter at Rotorua where they become part of the Bank of New Zealand Operation Nest Egg programme. Because of the urgency to get eggs to incubators as safely and quickly as possible some transports are at short notice but for most we can give a couple of days notice. Our job will be to transport the eggs from our office here in Turangi to Rotorua without stopping!
Fitness/Skills: Low, most of the time TNHS will have a vehicle available.
Number Required: At least two people each trip.
Even though these are longer term projects help for one day or many is appreciated.
Kiwi for the Tongariro Forest - A Volley's Story
by Kevin Griffiths
Photo: Truly wonderful volunteers Beth and Kevin Griffiths at Kiwi Encounter.
Kiwi eggs are often uplifted by DoC staff when it's observed that the eggs are being neglected and hatching is at risk. The eggs are carefully packed, padded and kept at a comfy temperature for transport from the forest by foot and or quad bike then ute to Turangi. Here they are met by volunteers who then transport them to the "Kiwi Encounter " at Rainbow Springs, Rotorua.
On arrival the eggs are met by a professional team and the procedure turns into almost hospital admission before the process of reaching the hatching room/incubator area.
After hatching the chicks go on to the brooder room for health checks, DNA gender and feeding. Release depends on health, evidence of the ability to forage and feed etc. All kiwi are released to the forest to the area from where the egg was uplifted. Mostly this is done when the chick reaches 1kg but sometimes small chicks are released weighing as little as 300 + gms.
They all have interesting names. All relevant information, ie; gender, health, weight, sired by etc. is displayed on their "discharge sheets". These kiwi are carefully packed into kiwi carry boxes with some fronds, then into the back seat of the car, belted up, secured and transported to DoC staff at Tongariro where they are fitted with transmitters prior to release.
Recently an 11 month old kiwi named "Fly girl", named by Fly Fishing Women in support of Breast Cancer and whose DNA incidentally proved to be male was released. He had struggled to gain and maintain weight and health. This was a special egg that we had delivered and had been to visit over the 10 months he was at Kiwi Encounter, so with parenting pride we were glad to see this bird was strong enough to gain freedom.
What a wonderful thing DNA is!