Although they are often found in scrubland and rough pasture and can adapt to a variety of habitat, young kiwi are often killed by stoats and feral cats. Possums eat their eggs and disrupt nesting. Forest clearance, human disturbance, and poorly controlled dogs have also contributed to kiwi decline. Predator control such as that completed by the Puketi Forest Trust will help kiwi survive in the future.
Although few New Zealanders are lucky enough to see kiwis in the wild, many have heard their haunting calls. Brown kiwis make a variety of sounds, including grunts, growls, mews, purrs, squeals, clacks, chortles and whistles.
Did you know? The birds supposedly derive their name from the male’s very loud, prolonged, shrill ascending then descending whistle call-but this is better represented by ah-eel than ki-wi. The first Maoris in New Zealand likely named the kiwi after a species found in their ancestral homeland-the kiwi, or bristle-thighed curlew-which also has a slightly down-curved bill.
Click here to hear the call of the North Island Brown Kiwi