First wild kiwi egg laid in Wellington in over a century

First wild kiwi egg laid in Wellington in over a century
Photo credit: Getty Images

A wild kiwi egg has been laid in Wellington for the first time in more than 100 years.

Last November, 11 North Island brown kiwi were released into the Mākara hills after an ambitious pest eradication project.

The project leader, Capital Kiwi's Paul Stanley Ward, said they had been followed weekly through transmitters on their legs.

The team were interested in looking at the welfare of the birds in that environment, he said.

"We're wanting to know that they're happy in the wild, some of these birds have been in a captive environment for most of their life."

Ward said the birds were all accounted for at present, eating well, and in an exciting discovery, an egg was found in a recent check-up.

"That is our first wild kiwi egg on those hills in a very long time. For the team and for the hundreds of landowners, the locals, and the iwi mana whenua who have supported this project it's some pretty sweet news for the new year."

The last recorded kiwi in the region was in the Tararua Range in about the mid 1870s, Ward said.

"As our kiwi managers will tell us - you can't count your kiwi until they hatch but it is a significant moment and something that we're very excited about."