The kiwi population with Opua State Forest's pest control area have increased by 120 per cent, from five to 11, in two years, and that is the best news ever for the Bay Bush Action volunteers to undertake pest control in the forest.

Volunteer and trustee Brad Windust conceded that 11 kiwi didn't sound very many, but they had almost disappeared entirely from within the forest. And they were certainly not out of the woods yet.

Kiwi listening by the group in 2011 resulted in not one call being heard. Since then the trust had cut 45km of track lines through the bush, raised $80,000 to buy traps, lugged in 2085 traps and set them over 200,000 times.

Volunteers had also spent more than 60 hours sitting in the bush at night, listening and documenting kiwi, which they did every second year.


"It's not only kiwi doing well," Mr Windust said.

The protected part of the forest was no longer silent but noisy with birds like tui, tomtits, kukupa and even fernbirds, although large swathes of Northland forests had little or no ongoing pest control, and were in a state of collapse.

Bay Bush Action's dream was to double the size of the pest-controlled area, "but we just don't have the money to do so. What would be great is to have a philanthropist come on board to help take this essential work to the next level.

Alternatively DoC Bay of Islands could spend the budget put aside in stalled attempts to save Whangaroa Forest into Opua State Forest. At least that way some native forest is being turned around from collapse."

So far the group had killed 2719 possums, 8327 rats, 108 wild cats, 129 stoats and 41 weasels to allow the native forest in the pest control area come back to life.