A staggering 170,000 animal pests have been removed from eastern Northland in the last four years by projects involved in the Kiwi Coast initiative.

Kiwi Coast co-ordinator Ngaire Tyson said the tally - more than 800 a week on average - only applied to trapping, not the thousands of other pests killed by poison.

In 2016 alone, 56,455 animal pests were trapped along Northland's eastern coast.

The initiative to link predator control networks continues to grow, with more than 80 associated groups and individuals now pest trapping over 125,217ha of Northland, Ms Tyson said. The Kiwi Coast is New Zealand's largest pest control project.


Kiwi populations have more than doubled at a number of sites on the Kiwi Coast, bucking the national trend identified by the Kiwis for Kiwi Trust of a decline in the population of two per cent per year.

Ms Tyson said the effects of Northland's large-scale pest control are evident in the flourishing native forests, increasing kiwi numbers and the return of birdsong to formerly near-silent areas.

"Northland communities are working hard to reduce animal pests and help our forests and native wildlife thrive. Together we are making a real difference on the ground," she said.

"The Kiwi Coast vision of creating New Zealand's first kiwi corridor, where kiwi can roam safely across Northland from one safe area to another, gets closer every year as communities lead the charge to not just reverse the decline of kiwi but ensure they flourish forever."

Now in its fifth year, the collaboration of community, iwi and agency projects has destroyed 69,871 possums; 69,233 rats; 5,535 mustelids; 8,251 hedgehogs; 5,429 wild rabbits; 2,299 feral cats; 8,042 magpies and mynas and 522 feral pigs.

The results represent thousands of hours of trap setting and checking by unpaid and professional trappers.

Some of the groups have been operating for almost two decades and have successfully created biodiversity strongholds on both public and private land.