Kiwi Coast Far North co-ordinator Lesley Baigent was distressed to learn that another kiwi had been found dead, killed by dogs, on Duncan Rd, Fairburn, near the Dawson Access Rd corner.
It was the sixth kiwi that had been killed by dogs and found in that vicinity over recent years, following one that was found 2km down the road at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.
"This kiwi was a juvenile female, about three years old, just getting to the age where she could start breeding," Baigent said.
"She had survived the most challenging time of her life, the first six to 12 months, when stoats and feral cats would have easily killed her, only to be killed by an uncontrolled dog.
"The Mangatete Landcare group has had their head trapper successfully protecting these kiwi for the last seven years with a series of traps designed for predators that kill young kiwi, but local dog owners, unfortunately, have not held up their end of the bargain.
"It is devastating that all this good work is undone by an irresponsible dog owner. But worse that a poor kiwi has met a horrible, preventable death.
"The protected area is producing kiwi that disperse into neighbouring areas, so more of us can have kiwi in our backyards," she added.
Dogs were the main cause of death of adult kiwi, and unfortunately attacks were all too common in Northland.
"Unless we get all dog owners to always make sure their dogs are locked up every night and under control when let out, we will continue to get these horrific deaths and kiwi numbers will dwindle," she said.
"It is bad enough that most chicks are killed by predators, but to lose adult kiwi due to people's irresponsible behaviour is more devastating, and much worse for the population. Kiwi should be living and breeding for 30-40 years, not three.
"Any dog can kill a kiwi. While pig hunting dogs usually get blamed for most kiwi deaths, many are killed by pets, especially as land is subdivided and more people with pets move into kiwi habitat. Knowing kiwi are present is important, but controlling your dog at all times will keep all wildlife safe."
Simple things every dog owner in a kiwi habitat area could (and should) do included confining them at night (dogs on chains had killed kiwi), keeping them on a short lead when in a kiwi area, use easily obtained muzzles to prevent a dog biting a kiwi, learning the signs of kiwi presence and where they are likely to be, having a well-fenced enclosure that dogs can run in but kiwi cannot get into, having an obedient dog, and ensuring that visitors with dogs know the rules.