The Kiwi – New Zealand’s Feathered Friend

The Kiwi birds have been around for centuries. The flightless birds are native to New Zealand and a wonder to environmentalists the world over. The birds have descended from species that lived more than 50 million years ago. They are nocturnal by nature, making their way out into the dark of night to forage for food. While losing a species like the Kiwi bird may not affect how you live daily, but to the human race, it is a loss of magnitude.

The Plight of The Kiwi Bird

The Kiwi bird population is dwindling in New Zealand. With only 68000 left in existence at the present moment, but decreasing at a rate of 2% a year will see that diminish much sooner than environmentalists would like. The majority of the Kiwi bird population is homed in protected areas; however, there are some that find themselves on the outskirts in zones that are predator-free. These birds are often killed and eaten by dogs and cat or attacked by possums, rats, and the like. Due to their nocturnal habits, many are the victims of car mutilations and deaths.

Conservations Plan To Save The Species

Kiwi birds inhabit many protected zones in New Zealand. Areas such as Kapiti and many other are patrolled by rangers whose only mission is to eradicate anything that poses a risk to the species. These rangers are fighting a lonely battle. They work and live alone and are ready to take down anything that threatens the Kiwi birds. Stoats, rats, and even Argentinian Ants that may be carried in picnic baskets are sought out and taken care of. It may sound a little extreme to consider ants a threat, however, these ants can swarm on a nest full of chicks and kill them in mere seconds. Trained dogs are used to track invaders of the area and traps and poison used to rid the area of the pests.