Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by kiang, 3 Mar 2017.
Went there yesterday and was told that the Great Spotted Kiwi has been moved to an outside enclosure (so basically no chance to see it) for about six months.
do they still do their night tours? That was the only way to see their last little spotted kiwi, so you may be able to likewise see the great spotteds (they had two - do they just have one now?).
Didn't see night tours advertised anywhere...
The Little Spotted Kiwi is in their second kiwi house (at least that's what the signs say). I didn't see it when I was there. Only saw it on a camera feed of the burrow but when I came back later it wasn't in its burrow nor was it anywhere in the enclosure...
One of the keepers told me it's easier to see in the mornings.
They only have one Great Spotted Kiwi atm. The other one died during an operation last year (info by same keeper).
I'm hoping to visit Otorohanga next week, so will try to visit in the morning to see the Little Spotted Kiwi (I haven't seen this species before). Will be interesting to see the new nocturnal house.
try emailing or calling to see what time they feed the little spotted kiwi, because then you will definitely see it.
just reading back on this, in February 2016 Otorohanga opened their "Kiwi Night Zone" house in which both the little and great spotted kiwi were on show. So the little spotted has been viewable to the general visitors for a year now.
Are there any plans to initiate breeding trails for both species at Otorohanga?
Or will they just stick with the brown kiwi only here?
Any other locations with great spotted and little spotted kiwis in NZ?
no, there will be no captive-breeding of either. Little spotted populations are all on islands and much safer than other species' populations so captive-breeding isn't necessary. Great spotteds are part of Operation Nest Egg and that is more effective than captive-breeding.
There is one female great spotted at Willowbank (not on display), and no other little spotteds in captivity.
I visited Otorohanga Kiwi House this morning, my first visit since 2012.
The most immediately apparent change was the presence of a predator-proof fence around the site, which means you have to go through a double gate system from the carpark to get into the entry building. I'm not sure what the exact purpose of this is, but presumably they plan on having some more species free-range within the park.
The old kiwi house currently holds two pairs of North Island brown kiwi, with one enclosure on display in the morning and the other in the afternoon. I stuck around to see both of these enclosures, which are a nice size, but didn't see any kiwi here, despite seeing the 10.30am feeding. The nearby 'Kiwi Night Zone', which has replaced a series of relatively small and dark aviaries that mostly held birds of prey. This new house is very nice, also with two kiwi enclosures, separated by a low fence, although both are on display all day and smaller than the enclosures in the old house. The first holds the little spotted kiwi (40+ year old male), while the second has a young pair of browns. During the 10.30am feeding talk, the keeper fed both enclosures, and the little spotted immediately came out and ate before retiring back to his burrow. He was out for a couple of minutes, but was clearly visible and great to see (an exciting new species for me!). The browns didn't show here either.
The rest of the park hasn't changed much. There is a nice new aviary for Antipodes Island parakeets between the two kiwi houses, and I hadn't seen the nice new morepork aviary (bigger and more suitable than the old one) or the walkthrough yellow-crowned kakariki and kereru aviary (functional, but quite attractive) before.
The waterfowl ponds look a little unloved and are beginning to look a little dilapidated, these need something done to them - I think this is partially because of all the trees, opening it up a little might help. I wonder if the addition of the predator-proof fence will result in opening up some of these spaces too. The reptile exhibits also look a little unloved, and those in the rock garden area need replacing. The kea and kaka also need new aviaries, I think the latter could go in the walkthrough dome aviary, and the former could use something much larger.
In contrast, a number of exhibits look great, especially those for New Zealand falcon, morepork, sacred kingfisher/brown teal, bar-tailed godwit/pied stilt, blue duck/bellbird, spur-wingled plover/Australian shelduck and little owl. The other exhibits are generally ok.
Overall, a great visit, and Otorohanga is certainly showing some solid improvements, although there is still work to do. @Najade has posted a range of photos from their recent visit in the gallery, but if anyone wants any photos of specific species/exhibits I can post them.
I think Willowbank have a pair actually, at least as a year ago.
oh yeah, I wonder where they got their male from. A few years ago there were just females in captivity - two at Otorohanga (one later died) and one at Willowbank. The latter had had a male prior to that, from Otorohanga, but he died.
Not strictly news that relates to their collection but still interesting enough to share - Otorohanga recently received a Long-tailed Bat after a member of the public brought it in after a cat attack. Fortunately the bat was later released after treatment:
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6.6 Mahoenui Giant Wētā (Deinacrida mahoenui) have arrived at Otorohanga. They will be the founders of a captive population: Gorse plays key role in giant wētā breeding program
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