The kiwi is the smallest bird in the Ratite family. Other well-known Ratites include the rheas of South America, ostriches of Africa, the emu and cassowaries of Australia and and the extinct moa of New Zealand
There are many reasons for the decline of the Kiwi which is now fighting for its very survival. A combination of deforestation and increased farming have all taken their toll on the population. Introduced predators have also taken their toll with Kiwi chicks being most at risk as they leave the nest weighing in at 200 grams. While adults are less vunerable, they stand little chance against ferrets or dogs.
There are five identified distinct species of kiwi. Their population and distribution is approximately as follows:
New populations of Kiwi have been introduced into predator free zones. This is one of the areas that the Mount Bruce Restoration Project excels. Eggs are artifically incubated and chicks are reared for release. Eggs are taken from the wild and hatched at the National Wildlife Centre. The Centre has a pen which is enclosed by a wall large enough to keep out any predators in the area. Once they are old enough to fend for themselves, they are released into the wild. Kiwi populations are being monitored by the DOC to find out how many there are, where they are and how far they range.
The males of the Little Spotted Kiwi and the Brown Kiwi mostly incubate the egg.
Southward Museum Trust - Brief information about our visit to Southward Museum Trust in 2006
New Zealand - 9 great pubs and bars - 9 of the best pubs and bars in and around New Zealand
Wellington - reflections in the windows of the Intercontinental Hotel - Buildings reflected in the windows of the Intercontinenal Hotel, Wellington
New Zealand - places not to miss - Recommended places to visit in and around New Zealand
Wellington - Lambton Quay - View down Lambton Quay, the main shopping centre in the Wellington CBD
Wellington - reflections in buildings - Reflections in a glass building in the CBD of Wellington
Wellington - Monet and the Impressionists at Te Papa - Monet and the Impressionists at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand in Wellington
70-Mile-Bush - About the much reduced 70 Mile Bush at Mount Bruce
A visit to Mount Bruce - Notes from our visit to Pukaha Mount Bruce
Taranaki - Lake Rotokare - Lake Rotokare Scenic reserve in Taranaki
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook