Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Apteryx mantelli
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Apteryx mantelli
Public Records: 11
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Monitoring is intensive and nationally coordinated, and uses call-counts, specially-trained dogs searching for banded birds, and radio-tracking (Robertson et al. 2010). Key populations are managed by controlling predators by the use of trapping and poisoned baits (Robertson 1998), with leg-hold predator traps are raised above the ground to prevent accidental trapping (H. A. Robertson in litt. 1999). Kiwi aversion training for hunters' dogs is being trialled, although there is no evidence that this is a viable long-term solution (Robertson et al. 2010).
A programme of removing and incubating eggs and returning subadults once these are large enough to fend off predators has been developed since 1995 under the name Operation Nest Egg (ONE, or BNZONE as the funding has been provided by the Bank of New Zealand) (Colbourne et al. 2005, Pickard 2009, Robertson et al. 2010). A dedicated rearing facility was constructed at which 942 eggs received from the wild produced 475 young released back into the wild between 1995 and 2008 (Pickard 2009), with survival in captivity greatly improving during this time (Colbourne et al. 2005, Pickard 2009). BNZONE has been demonstrated to be the most effective tool for the species, resulting in a 12.5% annual population increase within managed sites, due to 83% chick survival (Robertson et al. 2010). Due to the cost and need to locate nests this approach is only practical within areas up to 10,000 ha and should be used to turn around declines in the most threatened and restricted populations and subspecies (Colbourne et al. 2005). Many national and overseas captive populations are held (Heather and Robertson 1997). Conservation and research actions proposed
Carry out landscape-scale pest control at sufficient intervals at the sites that are currently unmanaged, specifically for mustelids, rats, cats and dogs (Holzapfel et al. 2008). Intensively manage at least one population of each regional taxon using the BNZONE programme to increase the population size (Holzapfel et al. 2008). Undertake population modelling for all taxa. Investigate landscape-scale remote monitoring techniques for sparse populations (Holzapfel et al. 2008). Promote legislative and policy changes to protect populations and encourage high-quality advocacy at all levels (Robertson 1998, Holzapfel et al. 2008). Educate and inform the public and encourage community involvement in Kiwi conservation (Robertson 1998, Holzapfel et al. 2008).
North Island brown kiwi
The North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli; Apteryx australis or Apteryx bulleri as before 2000, still used in some sources), is a species of kiwi that is widespread in the northern two-thirds of the North Island of New Zealand and, with about 35,000 remaining, is the most common kiwi. This bird holds the world record for laying the largest eggs relative to its body size.
Until 2000, the brown kiwi (then Apteryx australis) was thought to include the rowi and the tokoeka, in addition to the North Island brown kiwi. However using genetic codes from each of the above it was determined that the tokoeka was a separate species, it took the Apteryx australis name, leaving the brown kiwi with its current Apteryx mantelli name. Soon after, in 1998, more genetic tests were done with the rowi and it was determined that it (the rowi) was a separate species (Apteryx rowi). In 2004 an injured bird was found with streaked white around the head and identified by Massey University. The white feathering is likely due to a rarely seen genetic variation sometimes described as a partial albino. Few documented cases exist with only a painting of one found in Otorohanga in the 18th century and a specimen in the Canterbury Museum. The injured bird recovered and was introduced into a breeding programme.
|North Island||2500||2008||Decreasing -4% yr|
|Little Barrier Island||2500||1996||Stable|
|Kapiti Island ||Stable|
|Total (New Zealand)||5000||1996||Decreasing -2% yr|
Range and habitat
Brown kiwi are found throughout the North Island, occurring near Northland, Coromandel, Eastern North Island, Aroha Island, Little Barrier Island, Kawau Island, Ponui Island, and the Wanganui Region. The North Island brown kiwi has demonstrated a remarkable resilience: it has adapted to live on scrub-like farm land, pine (an introduced tree) plantations, and their native forests, but it still prefers dense, sub-tropical and temperate forest.
Females stand about 40 cm (16 in) high and weigh about 2.8 kg (6.2 lb) the males about 2.2 kg (4.9 lb). The plumage is streaky red-brown and spiky. The North Island brown kiwi is the only species of kiwi found internationally in zoos.
These kiwi, like all kiwi, feed on invertebrates. They have 2-3 clutches a year with 2 eggs in each clutch. Chicks are fully feathered at hatching and leave the nest and can fend for themselves within 1 week.
The North Island brown kiwi is endangered, per the IUCN Red List, with the major threat coming from predators, such as dogs, cats, and stoat Mustela erminea. 94% of chicks die before breeding in areas where mammalian pest control is not carried out. It has an occurrence range of 38,400 km2 (14,800 sq mi), with a population, estimated in 2000, of 35,000.
Nationwide studies show that on average only 5 percent of kiwi chicks survive to adulthood. However, in areas under active pest management, survival rates for North Island brown kiwi can be far higher. For example, prior to a joint 1080 poison operation undertaken by DOC and the Animal Health Board in Tongariro Forest in 2006, 32 kiwi chicks were radio-tagged. 57% of the radio-tagged chicks survived to adulthood. Thanks to ongoing pest control, the adult kiwi population at Tongariro has almost doubled since 1998.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Apteryx mantelli.|
- BirdLife International (2012). "Apteryx mantelli". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- BirdLife International (2008)
- A History of the Birds of New Zealand
- Guinness World Records 2013, Page 050, Hardcover Edition. ISBN 9781904994879
- Davies, S. J. J. F. (2003)
- Clements, J (2007)
- Save the Kiwi (2008)
- BirdLife International
- BirdLife International (2008). "Northern Brown Kiwi - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Data Zone. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
- Save the Kiwi (2008). "Population status of the North Island Brown Kiwi". Save the Kiwi. Archived from the original on 2009-05-26. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
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