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Apteryx rowi 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Struthioniformes Apterygidae

Scientific Name: Apteryx rowi Tennyson, Palma, Robertson, Worthy & Gill, 2003
Common Name(s):
English Okarito Kiwi, Okarito Brown Kiwi
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Apteryx australis, A. mantelli and A. rowi (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously treated as A. australis and A. mantelli (incorporating rowi) following Baker et al. (1995); prior to that all three taxa were lumped as A. australis following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).
Identification information: 40 cm. Medium-sized kiwi, flightless, no visible wings. Dark greyish-brown feathers streaked lengthways with reddish-brown. Long ivory bill. Similar spp. Okarito birds distinguished from Tokoeka A. australis by slightly greyer plumage, occasional white facial whiskers. Voice Shrill, clear ascending then descending whistle (male), lower-pitched, hoarse cry (female). Note duration and inter-note interval increase during a calling bout, and there is evidence that the species may duet (Corfield et al. 2008). Hints Loud calls at night, especially first two hours of darkness. 

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Robertson, H., Weeber, B. & Germano, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Martin, R, McClellan, R., Taylor, J., Symes, A., Wheatley, H.
Justification:
This newly-split kiwi is increasing in number following intensive conservation management. However, the total population remains small and it is therefore classified as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Apteryx rowi is locally common in native lowland forests in a small area of coastal forest inland from Okarito, on the west coast of South Island, New Zealand (Robertson 2013). They have recently been introduced to Mana, Motuara and Blumine Islands, in the Cook Strait region, and breeding has been recorded at both Mana and Blumine (H. Robertson in litt. 2016). Subadult birds have been released in adjacent North Okarito, which was part of the species range until very recently, and they have started breeding there. Before human settlement of New Zealand the species was widespread throughout the northern South Island and into the southern North Island, as far north as Lake Poukawa (Hawkes Bay) (Robertson 2013). The population is growing and was estimated to number 400-450 adults in 2016. 

Countries occurrence:
Native:
New Zealand
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:260
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The 2016 population is estimated to number 400-450 adults, and given that some (presumably very old) birds do not breed, the number of mature individuals is estimated to lie in the range 350-400 birds.

Trend Justification:  The population has risen rapidly from c.160 birds in 1995 to 400-450 adults in 2016 following intensive captive rearing of eggs and chicks to avoid predation by invasive stoats (H. Robertson in litt. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:350-400Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The native population is now restricted to coastal podocarp-hardwood forest. Eggs are laid from July to January, and the clutch size is one, but sometimes clutches can be overlapped. The nest is in a burrow, hollow base of a tree, or in a hollow log. The species is flightless and nocturnal, resting by day in a burrow, hollow tree or log or under thick vegetation. It feeds by walking slowly along tapping the ground, probing the bill into leaf litter or rotten logs when food is detected. Food is mostly small invertebrates, especially earthworms and larvae of beetles, cicadas and moths (Robertson 2013).
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):8.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species underwent massive historic declines and disappeared from most of its former range as a result of a combination of habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals. Declines up until the 1990s were attributed to recruitment failure caused by predation of chicks and juveniles by stoats Mustela erminea, and some adults being killed by dogs and motor vehicles.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and research actions underway 
'Operation Nest Egg' (the removal of eggs or young chicks from the wild and rearing in captivity and on Motuara Island, until large enough to cope with the presence of stoats), allowed the population to increase to about 200 birds by 2000. A landscape-scale stoat trapping programme in South Okarito Forest from 2001-2005 largely failed to protect chicks from stoat predation. Operation Nest Egg was reinstated, leading to the recent rapid population growth. New populations have been established on Mana and Blumine Islands, and breeding has been recorded at both of these sites (H. Robertson in litt. 2016). Subadult birds have been released in adjacent North Okarito, which was part of the species range until very recently, and they have started breeding there.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Carry out landscape-scale pest control at sufficient intervals at the sites that are currently unmanaged, specifically for mustelids, rats, cats and dogs (Holzapfel et al. 2008). Conduct research into reasons for low productivity. Evaluate further islands for possible translocations. Intensively manage the population using the BNZONE programme to increase the population size (Holzapfel et al. 2008). Undertake population modelling. Promote legislative and policy changes to protect populations and encourage high-quality advocacy at all levels (Robertson 1998, Holzapfel et al. 2008). Educate and inform the public and encourage community involvement in Kiwi conservation (Robertson 1998, Holzapfel et al. 2008).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.2. Invasive/problematic species control
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Canis familiaris ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:High Impact: 8 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Mustela erminea ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:High Impact: 8 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Felis catus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:High Impact: 8 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Baker, A. J.; Daugherty, C. H.; Colbourne, R.; McLennan, J. L. 1995. Flightless Brown Kiwis of New Zealand possess extremely subdivided population structure and cryptic species like small mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 92: 8254-8258.

Basse, B., McLennan, J.A. and Wake, G.C. 1999. Analysis of the impact of stoats, Mustela erminea, on the northern brown kiwi, Apteryx mantelli, in New Zealand. Journal of Wildlife Research 26: 227-237.

Calder, W.A., Parr, C.R. and Karl, D.P. 1978. Energy content of eggs of Brown Kiwi Apteryx australis-extreme in avian evolution. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 60(2): 177-179.

Colbourne, R. 2002. Incubation behaviour and egg physiology of kiwi (Apteryx spp.) in natural habitats. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 26(2): 129-138.

Colbourne, R., Bassett, S., Billing, A., McCormack, H., McLennan, J., Nelson, A. and Robertson, H. 2005. The development of Operation Nest Egg as a tool in the conservation management of kiwi. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Corfield, J.; Gillman, L.; Parsons, S. 2008. Vocalizations of the North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli). The Auk 125(2): 326-335.

Heather, B. D. and Robertson, H. A. 1997. The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Holzapfel, S.; Robertson, H.A.; McLennan, J.A.; Sporle, W.; Hackwell, K.; Impey, M. 2008 . Kiwi (Apteryx spp.) recovery plan: 2008–2018. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Hutching, G. 1995. Kiwi recovery? Attempting to save a national icon. Forest and Bird 278: 22-28.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 5 December 2017).

Marchant, S.; Higgins, P. J. 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, 1: ratites to ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

McLennan, J.A., Dew, L., Miles, J., Gillingham, N. and Waiwai, R. 2004. Size matters: predation risk and juvenile growth in North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 28(2): 241-250.

McLennan, J. A.; Potter, M. A.; Robertson, H. A.; Wake, G. C.; Colbourne, R.; Dew, L.; Joyce, L.; McCann, A. J.; Miles, J.; Miller, P. J.; Reid, J. 1996. Role of predation in the decline of kiwi, Apteryx spp., in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 20: 27-35.

Miller, P. J.; Pierce, R. J. 1995. Distribution and decline of the North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli) in Northland. Notornis 42: 203-211.

Pickard, J. G. 2009. The National Kiwi Trust - Kiwi encounter. International Zoo News 56(7): 388-400.

Pierce, R.J. and Sporle, W. 1997. Causes of kiwi mortality in Northland. Conservation Advisory Notes 169. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Robertson, H. A. 1998. Kiwi recovery plan 1996--2006. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Robertson, H. A. 2013. Okarito brown kiwi. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. Available at: www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz.

Robertson, H.A., Colbourne, R.A., Graham, P.J., Miller, P.J. and Pierce, R.J. 2010. Experimental management of Brown Kiwi Apteryx mantelli in central Northland, New Zealand. Bird Conservation International.

Taborsky, M. 1988. Kiwis and dog predation: observations in Waitangi State Forest. Notornis 35: 197-202.

Tennyson, A. J. D., Palma, R. L.; Robertson, H. A.; Worthy, T. H.; Gill, B. J. 2003. A new species of kiwi (Aves, Apterygiformes) from Okarito, New Zealand. Records of the Auckland Museum 40: 55-64.

Ziesemann, B.; Brunton. D. H.; Castro, I. C. 2011. Nesting success and breeding ecology in a high-density population of Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli). Emu 111(2): 148-154.


Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Apteryx rowi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22732871A119169794. . Downloaded on 19 July 2018.
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