TOSSI volunteers completed the four sessions of kiwi call counting for this year by the end of May 2023.
The process is repeated at a large number of sites across Northland within the same period as part of a citizen science program run every year in May.
The How – pairs of monitors are sent out to sit at pre-designated spots for two hours, recording male and female calls, compass the bearing, time and distance away of the call. This data is then collated and gives us a final analysis of the current population.
This year there was a huge sigh of relieve to complete this survey as there were lots of weather challenges, with cancellations due to very bad conditions. However, the damp ground conditions meant that kiwi were able to feed easily and be out and about, which gave an overall good picture. The average calls heard per evening was 140 at 4 sites , which equates to 11.68 calls per hour. This shows a healthy population but one that is getting squeezed. There is now evidence of them moving out of the Park and down the Takatu Peninsula.
We had a good number of new people join in the monitoring, the pre-training is simple and you are paired with an “old hand”. It’s a great way to meet other volunteers and to be in the park at an unusual time of day.
An added highlight is the amazing sky. There is very little interference with light pollution, so it’s an incredible view of the milky way and other constellations, Jupiter was stunning in the sky this year. It feels like such a privilege to be out there.
Sign up to join in next time.