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Inbreeding threatens island’s kiwi – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 19th, 2017.

Newly-published research from New Zealand researchers has found a Marlborough kiwi population thought to be thriving is actually threatened by the ‘silent effects’ of inbreeding. Dr Helen Taylor’s PhD research took her to Long Island, which has a little spotted kiwi population founded with two birds in the 1980s. While the population appeared to be […]

Govt plan to boost kiwi – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 4th, 2016.

The Government has announced a plan to boost wild kiwi numbers to more than 100,000 by 2030 – about 30,000 more than current numbers. Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced the draft plan on Monday and will now seek feedback from iwi partners and other stakeholders. The plan has three high-level goals: growing populations, maintaining genetic […]

Glaciers drove kiwi diversity – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 30th, 2016.

A new study suggests kiwi are more diverse than previously thought, thanks to ice age glaciations driving evolution into multiple lineages. Researchers based in Canada, in collaboration with Department of Conservation scientists, examined a database of kiwi DNA across the geographic range of the five known kiwi species. They found the five kiwi species divided […]

Mapping the kiwi genome – In the News

John Kerr posted in on July 24th, 2015.

The kiwi’s unique nocturnal behaviour is linked to some altered genes that eliminate color vision and others that modify its sense of smell, according European scientists who have mapped the birds entire DNA. The research, published in the open access journal Genome Biology, has been widely covered by New Zealand media. You can read more […]

UPDATED: Budget 2015: Kiwi conservation funding – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 21st, 2015.

More than $11 million of new operating funding for Kiwi conservation efforts, spread over four years,  has been announced in the new budget. The funding boost aims to to arrest the ongoing decline in wild kiwi numbers, which are falling by 2 per cent a year. “Kiwi are known around the world as a symbol […]

Smart spending for ‘flagship’ species – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 25th, 2015.

Smart spending of private conservation funding for individual ‘charismatic’ species can significantly benefit other species, say the authors of a new study. In New Zealand, the Department of Conservation (DOC) runs a National Partnership sponsorship programme, allowing companies to sponsor an individual, iconic ‘flagship’ species such as the kiwi, kakapo or takahe. Some experts have […]

Moa, kiwi lost flight independently

John Kerr posted in on May 15th, 2014.

Flightless birds of a feather don’t always flock together, at least in an evolutionary sense. While the moa and kiwi are both flightless birds and part of the species group known as ratites, they may have evolved to become non-flying species independently according to genetic research from a Canadian team – including New Zealander Prof […]

Australians claim Kiwi’s ancestor

John Kerr posted in on December 20th, 2013.

Is New Zealand’s national bird about to go the way of Phar Lapp, Crowded House and pavlova? The Aussies are almost claiming the Kiwi, but not quite. New research suggests that the Kiwi is not a dwarf version of the Moa, as some theories suggest, but in fact shares a common ancestor with the emu […]

Kiwi chick gives hope for species survival

John Kerr posted in on July 9th, 2013.

A kiwi chick released on an island off the Kapiti coast may be the key to securing the future for the world’s most endangered kiwi – the rowi. The as-yet-unnamed rowi Kiwi chick was this week helicoptered to Mana Island — a predator-free kiwi sanctuary — as part of the National Kiwi Recovery Programme. The […]

Feather DNA analysis unveils cloak origins

John Kerr posted in on May 27th, 2011.

DNA analysis of feather cloaks dating back to 1810 has revealed fascinating insights about historical Maori trade and movement. Scientists from Massey, Auckland and Griffiths Universities, in collaboration with a host of Museums , have carefully analysed the DNA of feathers used in traditional Maori cloaks. Their samples came from 113 cloaks sourced from museums […]

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