Thames Coast Kiwi Care is a long term community driven project which has the support of mana whenua Ngāti Tamaterā. Our primary goal is to help wild kiwi thrive by engaging the community to protect and enhance the kiwi population and their precious habitat.
TCKC was set up by the Thames Coast Protection Society in 2006, with support from the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai, Ngāti Tamaterā, and local landowners.
TCKC is almost entirely volunteer run. We have a dedicated crew of volunteer trappers and supporters and a governance committee. We welcome new members and volunteers and appreciate the support of our partners and sponsors.
Why is this work necessary?
Kiwi in the Coromandel are seriously declining in places where predators are not controlled. Kiwi surveyed south of the Kopu-Hikuai Rd area in the 1990s were not found in surveys in 2014. The worst kiwi predators are ferrets and stoats, but rats, weasels and feral cats also pose huge problems.
Our mahi is contributing to the nationwide mobilization to reverse the 2% annual decline in kiwi populations, and, a ten fold increase in our local kiwi population.
The project area also suffers from invasive possums, rats, and other browsing mammals. In our indigenous forest ecosystems, everything is connected. New Zealand Aotearoa’s remnant forests can only survive and flourish by conservation efforts adopting a whole-of-ecosystem approach.
With funding from the Waikato Regional Council we are now undertaking a major expansion adding predator control of rats and possums for habitat protection.
Where is the project area?
We operate within approximately 5,000 ha of private and DOC land behind Te Mātā, Tapu and Waikawau.
Are dogs allowed in the kiwi project area?
Dogs are a major threat to both adult and juvenile kiwi. Private landowners decide whether dogs are allowed on their land, but any dog entering the DOC estate must be kiwi aversion trained. Your dog(s) can receive free kiwi aversion training at various locations around the Coromandel. Please contact DOC or watch for local notices as to where and when you can receive kiwi aversion training for your dogs.
Trap types and maintenance
We use DOC200 & DOC250 traps in wooden boxes to target stoats and ferrets, and SA2 traps for feral cats. Traps are serviced and baited with eggs or lure, once a month in winter and fortnightly in summer. Traps lines are checked by a team of volunteers. Our paid coordinator supports trappers, liaises with the community, agencies, and also services trapping gear, manages rosters and collates reports on trapping data, and fine tunes the methods to support best practice trapping.
Between 2023 and 2026 we will be adding more than 200 AT220 traps to some trap lines. These will target possums and rats and benefit not just kiwi but the whole ecosystem. The AT220s are self-setting and auto-luring traps which can catch both possums and rats.
Our regular newsletters for members and community are a great resource documenting project milestones and history, and our facebook posts help keep you right up to date.
For the latest facts and figures on the project, view our most recent annual reports.
We are grateful to be participants in the 1% for the Planet programme, an environmental philanthropy initiative started by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies.
These businessmen were inspired by their love of the outdoors to commit 1 percent of their sales to giving back. In 2002, their shared vision to put ‘planet over profit’ inspired a safe, effective framework that aims to maximise support for environmental solutions.
The project matches businesses with aligned values to approved partners, providing funding or other corporate support to non-profits like Thames Coast Kiwi Care.
There are now more than 5000 business members of 1% for the Planet around the world, along with a further 1000 individual members. More than $430 million(US) has been distributed so far to support a healthier world.
We are privileged to be partnered with Coromandel Distilling Co. in 1% for the Planet.
Betty Holmes and the Estate of Warrick Holmes
Jane Hunter Solicitor
Leigh McIntyre & Clive Monds
John and Noeleen Kuypers
Rachel Holmes Photography
Seagull Centre Trust
Also a big thanks to everyone who has donated to TCKC over the past year and all our valued regular donors who give via Automatic Payment.