The dog Rein has been looking for kiwi birds for 11 years.Now the four-legged beauty has gone on a well-deserved rest.
Iain Graham, along with Rein, helped to preserve the rare species of birds – the kiwi, in order to increase their population. The dog is known to have found 1,700 kiwis and was an important helper. Thanks to her, the population has increased from 160 to 600 birds.
Rein was specially trained to track kiwis safely in the wild. She finds bird eggs that are a target for predators. They are then collected and planted at the West Coast Wildlife Center, then transported to the reserve for about 2 months.
Only when the kiwis are large enough, they are sent to the island of Motuara, where they are released into the wild. Each released bird is equipped with a transmitter. “When we see a 50% drop in feeding activity, we know that kiwis are nesting,” Graham said. Approximately 30 days later, Graham and Rein go in search of eggs.
According to the owner, when they are at a distance of 100 meters, the dog can already let know where they are hidden. The dog works during the 6-month breeding season, but does not rest the other half of the year. She travels to Motuara Island to observe the chicks.
And also every 12 – 14 months he seeks out kiwi to replace the battery on their transmitters.However, it’s time for Rein to retire. “She is now entering the stage where she enjoys the couch more than before. She will still go hiking with us, but retirement will give her a better chance of rest,” added Iain Graham.