Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kiwi aversion training day in Whanganui

Increasing kiwi numbers in and around Whanganui National Park is one of the many goals of Kia Wharite.

Department of Conservation staff are running an avian avoidance training day on Sunday July 22nd 2012 at Gordon Park Scenic Reserve in Whanganui as part of their six monthly training days.

If you own a dog be it hunting, working or pet we encourage you to book them in. Particularly those dogs that are used in areas where kiwi are present.

Dog should be taught basic obedience techniques prior to the avian avoidance training. As part of the training each dog is walked through a short bush course where kiwi carcasses and props are set up.  The dog is walked through the course and if it shows interest in the props by approaching and making contact a quick static shock is delivered which teaches the dog to avoid the props.  The dog is then taken back past the props where it is observed and certified if avoidance behaviour is shown. The training takes approximately 15 minutes.
Points to remember
  • Dogs can and do kill kiwi and other ground dwelling birds, it is natural instinctual behaviour
  • Any breed of dog has the potential to kill kiwi, even the family pet
  • Dog owners can help reduce the threat to kiwi by taking responsibility for their dogs and ensuring they are trained and obedient
  • Dogs must return for retraining and testing annually for certification to remain current
  • Avian aversion training is a good tool and reduces the risk to kiwi but there is no substitute for spending quality time training your dog.

More information on how to save kiwi can be found on the BNZ Save the Kiwi website.  Go into the draw to win a trip for you and a mate and four dogs by getting your dog avoidance trained before the 31st August 2012 (full terms and conditions on website) 

To book your dog in for the training day or for more information call the Whanganui Area Office 06 349 2100 or email