Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kiwi Killers

Stoats were first introduced to New Zealand in the 19th century to combat the rapid proliferation of rabbits, another introduced species.

Unable to control the rabbit population, the stoat (aka weasel or ermine) is nonetheless doing a bang-up job killing off young kiwi chicks.

The population of Little Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx owenii) has dropped to 1,200 birds, and the Rowi or Okarito Brown Kiwi (Apteryx rowi) is down to just 300 individuals.

Another introduced species helping push the Kiwi over the edge is the Brush-tailed Possum, introduced from Australia.



NewKiwi said...

Sadly, dogs get included as pests and threats to the kiwis. They are being re-introduced onto some islands and preserves, and no dogs are allowed in these and many other parks in New Zealand. The poisoned bait (1080) the Dept of Conservation drops all over get eaten by a large variety of species, not just the possums, including dogs. You can find a video on you-tube of the (also endangered) NZ mountain parrot eating this poisoned bait.

PBurns said...

What New Zealand does with 1080 is INSANE. They did not even bother with bait boxes or bait tubes until recently. They are trying to kill off the Brushy-tailed possum, but the 1080 is the nasties stuff on the planet, and I have studied most of them. See my old post on the history of, and litany of, rat poisons >>