The National Kiwi Trust was established in April 2006 as a means to obtain funding to provide sustainability and growth to the development of the Save the Kiwi Program. The Trust operates Kiwi Encounter onsite at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.
Despite its status as our treasured icon it is an endangered species. The kiwi population halves about every 10 years and without human intervention the survival rate of young kiwi in the wild is only 5%. The very characteristics that make our kiwi so endearing and unusual are (after the introduction of mammalian predators) its downfall in its fight for survival.
A conservation programme has been put in place to try and slow the decline of kiwi and hopefully turn kiwi numbers around. This initiative is managed by the Department of Conservation who co-ordinate all kiwi recovery work in New Zealand. The programme works by artificially incubating kiwi eggs and raising the chicks in captivity until they are 1kg in body size and are considered able to defend themselves from predators. The chicks are then released back to the wild in the conservancy that the egg was originally lifted. Research and ongoing monitoring of the birds, along with this critical Operation Nest egg program has helped to raise the survival rate of kiwi chicks in the wild to 60-70%.
Rainbow Springs became involved in this programme in 1995 and has hatched over 1000 eggs at the Kiwi Encounter facility. Our expert husbandry staff are now assisting with protocols for the Department of Conservation and other institutions. We are considered to be leading the country in terms of research and scientific data collation.
Thank you for booking your hotel, motel or any other accommodation through Kiwi Karma and supporting the longevity of our national icon.