island-conservation-kiwi-not-endangered-feat

Conservationists Celebrate Kiwi Downlisting

Conservationists celebrate a conservation win after the Brown Kiwi and the Okarito Kiwi are downlisted from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’.

Two of New Zealand’s iconic Kiwi species have been downlisted from Endangered to Vulnerable after a 30-year effort to save the small, flightless birds. The North Island Brown Kiwi and the Okarito Kiwi (Rowi) have both been downlisted according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

In the mid-1990s there were only 160 Rowi but due to extensive conservation efforts, there are now 450 adult individuals. Although this is by no means a full recovery, the species populations are growing and conservationists are hopeful for the future success of the rare birds.

island-conservation-Rowi-Kiwi

A Rowi chick at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef. Rowi are off the international endangered species list.

Due to a project called ‘Operation Nest Egg’, the Brown Kiwi population has been growing at approximately 2% per year in managed populations. Unmanaged populations are still under serious threats due to the presence of invasive species and are still declining. However, with the growing populations overall, the species appears to be on the road to recovery.

island-conservation-north-island-brown-kiwi

North Island Brown Kiwi are off the international endangered list and are now classed as vulnerable. Credit: Brett Phibbs

Conservationists are excited to have secured the species at a ‘Vulnerable’ status, but these birds are by no means out of the woods yet. Their populations are still small and invasive predators remain a threat many species of New Zealand’s native birds. Kevin Hackwell, Chief Conservation Officer for Forest & Bird commented:

Predators continue to be the biggest threat to Kiwi survival, which is why the latest Kiwi Recovery Plan is seeking a significant increase in large scale pest control efforts to save all of our kiwi species.

For now, we can celebrate the fact that these two species appear to be on the rise and although there is still more work to be done, a sign of progress is inspiring.

Featured Photo: North Island Brown Kiwi. Credit: Shaun Lee
Source: New Zealand Herald

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

View All Posts
Share our mission!

Please consider sharing our website with your friends!