Kiwis were first born in Wellington over 150 years ago

Kiwis were first born in Wellington over 150 years ago

Text by Felicia Latour

A year ago, a group of environmentalists reintroduced it 50 Kiwi birds In a protected area in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Last December, members of the Kiwi Capital project celebrated the birth of two chicks, the first kiwis born in the wild in this region in more than a century.

Bird, symbol

The kiwi is the symbolic animal of New Zealand. It's no coincidence that New Zealanders are called Kiwis! The bird does not fly, but runs very fast, which explains why it is used as a mascot on many sports teams.

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This 1908 cartoon represents the victory of the New Zealand All Blacks over the Great Britain Lions in rugby.

Image: Capital Kiwi Project/Trevor Lloyd

Species at risk

Since the arrival of Maori and then European settlers, kiwis have been hunted for their meat and feathers. They have been protected ever since 1921But their numbers are declining due to habitat loss and the introduction of predatory mammals, such as mice, opossums and stoats.

The brown kiwi is one of the most widespread kiwi species in New Zealand, but according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation, this bird could become extinct in the wild within two generations if it does not benefit from adequate protection. It is estimated that approximately 62 000 kiwi New Zealand's wild animals and their numbers are decreasing 2 % annually.

Did you know this…? Here are some facts about kiwi:

  • He can live from 30 to 40 years.

  • It is the size of a chicken and its feathers resemble hair.

  • It digs burrows instead of building a nest.

  • It's nocturnal. To find their way in the darkness, they emit a powerful scream that sounds like… “Ki-wei, Ki-wei”Hence the name of the bird.

  • It has a long, thin beak that can reach its size 15 poison With nostrils at the tip. It feeds by sniffing the ground, using its excellent sense of smell to collect worms, various insects, larvae, amphibians, small reptiles, and fruits.

  • The female can lay six eggs per year, which are very large compared to her weight (five!). There are five species of kiwi: the southern brown kiwi, the northern brown kiwi, the occarito kiwi, the great spotted kiwi, and the little spotted kiwi.

With information from the Capital Kiwi Project

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