The Okarito Brown Kiwi, Apteryx rowi, also known as the Rowi is a member of the Kiwi family Apterygidae, described as new to science in 2003. The species is part of the Brown Kiwi complex, and is morphologically very similar to other members of that complex. It is found in a restricted area of the Okarito forest on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, and has a population of about only 250 birds.
Their binomial name Apteryx rowi breaks down "A-" to without and "pteron" wings, and rowi which... This bird is a ratite form the Struthioniformes order and hence, has similarities to the others (Emu, Ostrich, Rhea, Cassowary). First, its sternum has no keel, its wings are minimal, and it has no preen gland. Its palate is also distinctive, and its feathers have no barbules or aftershaft. Other features that are similar to only the other Kiwis is a weak gizzard and no tail, just a pygostyle.
Range and habitat
The Okarito Brown Kiwi lives in the Okarito forest on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.
The female will lay up to three eggs, each in a different nest. Both male and female incubate the eggs. The egg is so big, as it weighs 20% of the females weight.
Status and conservation
Its conservation status has been set as "nationally critical". Conservation efforts such as Operation Nest Egg and the stoat control regime have been partially successful in restoring the Rowi population. However, the rowi is still in a fragile stage of existence. Predation, mainly from imported animals such as stoats, is still the biggest threat to the Rowi.