ENDEMIC. NATIONALLY VULNERABLE.
DISTRIBUTION: Located in four distinct geographical areas. The Northern Fiordland Tokoeka, Southern Fiordland Tokoeka, Stewart Island Tokoeka and the rare Haast Tokoeka have an estimated population of just 400. The Stewart Island Tokoeka is the most abundant of all Tokoeka.
HABITAT: Native forests, scrub, tussock grassland, while the Haast Tokoeka is found in sub-alpine areas.
FOOD: Mostly small invertebrates, especially earthworms and larvae of beetles, cicadas and moths. They also eat centipedes, spiders, crickets and weta. Some fallen fruit is also eaten.
CALL: Male gives a high-pitched ascending whistle while the female gives a slower and lower pitched gutteral call. They will call occasionally each night to alert other kiwi to their territory and to maintain contact with partners. Pairs often duet.
GENERAL: The Stewart Island Tokoeka is the largest of this species, with the Haast birds being the smallest. Tokoeka are generally nocturnal except for the Stewart Island birds which often forage during the day.
Before human settlement, Tokoeka were widespread throughout the southern and eastern part of the South Island as far north as North Canterbury. Tokoeka disappeared from the eastern part of their range first, and within the last 50 years they have disappeared from the northern and eastern fringes of Fiordland.
As the Haast Tokoeka population was declining due to predation from stoats, ferrets and cats, an extensive trapping programme began in 2000. The removal of eggs or young chicks from the wild began to prevent their further decline by incubating and rearing the chicks in a captive managed situation at the New Zealand Conservation Trust's facility. The chicks are then released into predator-free creche sites until they are big enough to defend themselves (1.2 kg) and released back into the wild.
Between 2005 to 2011, ninety-two eggs/chicks had been managed at the facility.