About the North Island Brown Kiwi | Taranaki Kiwi Trust

Kiwi Information

Taranaki is the home of the North Island Brown Kiwi and they can be found on Mt Taranaki and in forested areas of North, South & East Taranaki.
This birds are nocturnal but occasionally they may be active during the day.
If you are out in the bush during the day you may be able to find some signs of kiwi. These include probe holes, footprints, feathers, droppings or burrows.

What makes kiwi unique?
  • A small wing with a tiny hook at the end
  • Small eyes, ears and whiskers like a cat
  • Nostrils at the tip of the bill, good for probing food
  • Very strong legs and sharp claws, great for building burrows and running fast
  • Females are between 2.2kg and 2.8kg, males are between 1.8kg and 2.3kg
  • Kiwi grow very slowly
  • Males – breeding age approximately 18 months old, females 2+ years
Kiwi Breeding
  • North Island brown kiwi start breading at 18 months (males) and 2+ years (female)
  • Breeding season -August to April
  • In Taranaki – often lay 2 eggs per clutch, and up to 3 clutches per season
  • A kiwi egg can be up to 20% of the females body weight
  • The male incubates the eggs for 65-85 days
  • A chick takes 3-4 days to hatch and emerges fully feathered, a miniature adult
Kiwi Threats
  • Habitat loss
  • Predators 
  • In areas with no predator control Less than 5% of chicks survive to 6 months of age
  • Stoats – major problem for chicks. The stealthy stoat is responsible for killing about 90% of chicks in unmanaged areas and the tell-tale wounds on the neck or head
  • Ferrets are able to kill adult kiwi as well as chicks and anecdotal evidence suggests their numbers may be on the rise. 
  • Feral cats/wild cats are active hunters at day and night and it is very hard to detect numbers as they are quick to hide. They have a large range in which they cover with males known to range over 20 km. 
  • Any type of dog is a risk. The scent of kiwi is irresistible to dogs, which makes them easy to track and find.