Operation Nest Egg ONE

Natalie Sinclair & Neil John

Operation Nest Egg (ONE)

Thames Coast Kiwi Care became involved in Operation Nest Egg (ONE) in 2014, with the first release of juvenile birds back to Te Mata in 2016. Since then 35 birds have come home to Te Mata from Rotoroa Island crèche, adding to the growing population of sub-adult Coromandel Brown Kiwi.

Kiwi chicks are particularly vulnerable to stoats. Now in use nationwide ONE involves the harvesting of kiwi eggs just before hatching, where they are then taken to specialised kiwi incubation facilities to be further incubated until hatched. Once hatched the chick is released into temporary predator-free safe havens ( Rotoroa and Motutapu Islands). When they reach the target weight of approximately 1200 grams they can be released back into their home territory with a much better chance of survival against predators.

Neil John (TCKC ONE kiwi handler) and Natalie Sinclair (Auckand Zoo Senior Bird Keeper) locate the male kiwi sires to harvest eggs at around 65 days of incubation and then transport them to Auckland Zoo for hatching. Health checks and transmitter changes are also carried out by the qualified kiwi handlers.