Brown kiwi live in the North Island. There are four distinct forms, including the Northland brown kiwi.


New Zealand status: Endemic
Threat status:
At Risk (Declining)
Population: 25,000
Found in:
Lowland and coastal native forest and subalpine areas in the North Island
Threats: Predation

The brown kiwi is one of our most common kiwi species; however, the population is steadly declining by about 2–3% a year. Without ongoing support, experts estimate brown kiwi will be extinct in the wild within two generations.

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Brown kiwi.
Brown kiwi

For many New Zealanders, brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) is the species we think of when kiwi are talked about. It is the species that lives closest to human habitation, familiar to many communities in Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, East Coast/Hawkes Bay and parts of Taranaki. It is also the main species on display in captivity.

This proximity of people to kiwi has created its own risks to birds through increased contact with dogs, cats and cars. However, it has also been a great advantage to the recovery of the species - hours and hours of effort from community initiatives in restoration benefit brown kiwi populations in many locations.

All brown kiwi live in the North Island. Four geographically and genetically distinct forms have been identified:

The brown kiwi is faster at breeding than other kiwi, producing up to two eggs a clutch, and one to two clutches a year, as opposed to the more usual one egg per year in other kiwi species. However, much of that good reproductive work is undone by the ravages of dogs, stoats, and loss of habitat.

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