The Bois Gentil (Friendly Forest) Crèche which opened in 2010 is the only crèche in New Zealand dedicated to the protection of great spotted kiwi / roroa (Apteryx haastii) chicks. Consisting of twelve hectares of carefully managed and monitored land surrounded by a pest proof fence, it provides a predator safe environment where young kiwi can grow for their first year of life before being returned to the wild.
As such, it plays an important role in helping to maintain juvenile recruitment into the population of Paparoa kiwi. In unmanaged areas, stoats have been found to kill around 95% of all kiwi chicks born in the wild.
The great spotted kiwi / roroais classified as nationally endangered by the Department of Conservation. Its current population of around 15,000 may be decreasing by as much as 43% in three generations (45 years). It is on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List.
The Bois Gentil crèche is supported by conservation grants and private patronage. It operates under the tutelage of the Department of Conservation.