The North Island Brown Kiwi, Apteryx mantelli or Apteryx australis before 2000 (and still 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 25,000 remaining, is the most common kiwi.
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.
Range and habitat
Brown Kiwis are found throughout the North Island, occurring near Northland, Coromandel, Eastern North Island, Aroha Island, Little Barrier Island, Kawau Island, Pounui Island, and Wanganui Region. The North Island Brown 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.
This Kiwis, like all kiwis, feeds 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 their own within 1 week.
The North Island Brown Kiwi is Endangered, per the IUCN Redlist, with the major threat coming from predators, such as dogs, cats, and stoat Mustela erminea. 94% of chicks die before breeding. It has an occurrence range of 38,400 km2 (14,800 sq mi), with a population, estimated on 2000, of 35,000.