Predators of the Kiwi Bird and Other Threats

[Facebook] [Twitter]

The world nowadays is moving at a fast pace, which is why numerous animals have become endangered, and even extinct. One of them is the lovely and cute kiwi bird, which is the national symbol of New Zealand. However, not much of the symbol remains today, since this species is severely endangered and the population of kiwi birds has significantly decreased in the recent years. It is a shame how such unique species become so endangered. And what a pity that no one does something about it! Even though numerous sanctuaries and conservation areas have been established in order to protect the kiwis, they are still endangered and face numerous threats. What are the main reasons why the kiwis are endangered, though?

The kiwi is mainly threatened by induced mammalian predators. Examples of such induced mammalian predators include cats, dogs, stoats, and ferrets. These are the kiwi’s main predators. In fact, about half of kiwi chick deaths have been registered all over New Zealand because of stoat attacks. Cats are also to blame for the death of kiwi chicks. As the chicks are defenseless and vulnerable to stoat and cat predation until reaching at least 1 kg in weight, the population of the kiwi birds is constantly being reduced, since the chicks are killed. Before the time they can defend themselves, it can be too late for kiwi chicks. Unlike cats and stoats, dogs and ferrets are more appealed by adult kiwis. This is because these birds have a unique scent, which drives dogs crazy. The scent is also easy to follow and track, so dogs have no problem when it comes to hunting and killing these poor little birds.

A recent study has revealed that even the cute pet dogs can kill a kiwi in a matter of seconds. Besides these predators, kiwis face many more threats. Habitat modifications fall into these category. With the excessive urbanization, many kiwis lose their natural habitat and or are having a hard time adapting to the habitat modifications. The kiwi bird is also threatened by motor vehicle strike. The habitat modifications have led to roads crossing through their habitat, so numerous motor vehicle strikes result in kiwi birds dying. Another cause of the kiwi bird becoming endangered is people badly setting possum traps. Studies have shown that only 5% of kiwi chicks survive to adulthood, so no wonder that this species has become endangered. This is why it is important to take measures and be more concerned with the conservation of this unique bird species.