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Arthur's Pass is an Alpine Village in the heart of the Southern Alps, surrounded by the mountains and native forest of the Arthur's Pass National Park.
Lurking in those forests are Great Spotted Kiwi, the largest of the 5 Kiwi Species and also known as the Mountaineering Kiwi. Their ranges extend from the Valley floor (700m) up to and above treeline at around 1300m. The adults weigh in at between 2 - 3.5kg with the females being quite a lot larger than the males.
The local population of Kiwi are monitored by the Arthur's Pass Wildlife Trust http://www.apwt.org.nz. The Trust traps predators such as Stoats and wild Cats and monitors Kiwi to judge how effective the predator control is. Kiwi monitoring provides information about how long Kiwi live for, the number of Kiwi chicks surviving, and what kills those that don't survive.
Chances are you won't see a Kiwi if visiting Arthur's Pass. They are only active at night, and then mostly in the thick forest. However you can hear Kiwi calling from the forests all around the Village. The best time to listen is the first two hours after dark. What do Kiwi sound like? Here is the call of a female Kiwi http://www.whakatanekiwi.org.nz/about-new-zealand-kiwi/whakarongo-mai.asp. The Male is higher pitched.
Good luck listening!
Written: 3 articles
The Mountain House is the alpine specialist in Arthur's Pass. We provide all ranges of accommodation and can assist with gear storage, tramping information, plus provide a trampers shuttle to get you out there. We are within 2 hours of Christchurch.
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