Learn how hunters and trappers can consider kiwi when they’re in the forest.

Hunting with dogs in places where wild kiwi live is very dangerous for these unique birds. Dogs are a serious threat to adult kiwi because they find their unusual smell irresistible and can easily crush their fragile bodies in their mouths. Even just an inquisitive nudge could fatally injure a kiwi.

How hunters and possum trappers go about their business can save a kiwi’s life, particularly when it comes to managing their dogs. Keeping a kiwi’s wellbeing front of mind will not only support the safety of our national icon in their natural habitat, it will also add to a successful hunting excursion.

Help for hunters

Here are some guidelines that hunters can use to create a kiwi-friendly hunting experience:

  • Do your research. Ask the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai if wild kiwi live where you plan to hunt. If they do, avoid that area if possible.
  • If you must hunt in an area where kiwi live, make sure you have all the necessary permits required. Ask DOC for more information.
  • Train all your hunting dogs to avoid kiwi.
  • Limit hunting parties to a maximum of three dogs.
  • Ensure all hunting dogs are obedient and never roam unattended.
  • Report any lost or roaming dogs to the nearest DOC Area Office as soon as possible.
  • Do not leave dogs behind when you leave the bush.
  • Do not hunt at night in places where wild kiwi live.
  • Use short range finders.
  • Report any kiwi signs you see or hear so other hunters can be made aware of the presence of kiwi.
Hunting dog
Trapping Volunteer

Possum trappers

Possum hunters help protect native forests and animals from possum damage and disease. However, some of the techniques used to kill possums can also kill kiwi. Here are some guidelines for possum trappers:

  • Talk with DOC or regional council staff about kiwi-safe ways to set traps.
  • Where possible, avoid using leg hold traps. If you use them, set leg hold traps at least 70 centimetres off the ground, well out of reach of kiwi.
  • Place all cyanide baits at least 70 centimetres off the ground, well out of reach of kiwi.
  • Remove skinned possum carcasses, so wild cats and stoats are not attracted to an area where kiwi chicks might live.
Pet dogs

Pet owners

Dogs and kiwi don’t mix. Whether you want to take Murphy, Charlie or Spot on a hike or on holiday, find out how to make sure your dog never meets a kiwi in the wild.


Farm land

Farmers and landowners

A significant proportion of kiwi live on private land. If you’re a farmer or own land, find out how you can keep kiwi living on your property safe.



Forest owners

Kiwi can thrive in managed plantation forests if a few simple precautions are taken. Learn how you can protect wild kiwi without impacting the management of your forest.


Lifting kiwi eggs


Don’t fall into any of these categories but keen to help? There are plenty of volunteering opportunities available – discover some near your place.