kiwi: The National Animal of New Zealand

national animal of new zealand kiwi


Do you know ? The national animal of New Zealand is Kiwi. Its scientific name is Apteryx . It belongs to the family of Apterygidae a class of Aves and kingdom of Animalia. It is a brown, wooly , nonflying. In born  to the forests and jungles of New Zealand. It is undoubtedly the smallest living ratites its size is just alike a domestic chicken.

It lays the largest egg as compared to their body size of any species of bird in the world. From DNA report the surprising conclusion observed. Which shows that kiwi is very closely related to the inexistent Malagasy elephant birds. Kiwi has 5 familiar kinds.

Which are categorized two of which are currently at risk, one of which is threatened and one of which is seriously threatened. Due to historical deforestation (removal of trees) nearly all species have been badly affected.

But now the present residual large areas of their forest environment are well protected in reserves and national parks. At present mammalian predators which kill the small birds and animal is the greatest threat to their survival.

Great spotted kiwi or Roroa, Apteryx haastii is the largest species.

It can  stand about 45 cm (18 inches) high and its average weight is about 3.2 kg (7.2 lb).

The weight of  males is nearly close to  2.4 kg (5.3 lb)).

It’s feathers colored grey-brown with lighter bands. The female species lays just one egg, which both parents then protect.

The estimated population is approximately 20,000 mostly resides in  mountainous parts of  the northern West Coast ,northwest Nelson, and the Southern Alps. Countrywide  studies reported that only five percent of kiwi chicks survive to adulthood on an average basis.

Though irritant management areas  survival rates for North Island brown kiwi can be extremely higher. According to Doc and Animal Health Board  report in Tongariro Forest in 2006 shows 32 kiwi chicks were radio-identified.

57% of the radio-identified chicks survived to adulthood. The attention of the Tongariro govt and other related departments  increase the  population rate which  almost doubled since 1998.     

 10 Facts about kiwi

  • Kiwi is the most popular and native animal of New Zealand country.
  • In the late 19th century in New Zealand, the kiwi first time appeared as a symbol on the regimental units badges.
  • Later it was also  featured in the badges of the South Canterbury Battalion in 1886 and the Hastings Rifle Volunteers in 1887.
  • Due to its popularity, it appeared on many military badges.
  • Its familiarity in New Zealand spread very soon. In 1906 a company made shoe polish in the name of kiwi which is commonly called Kiwi Shoe Polish widely sold in the UK and the US.The symbol became more widely known.
  • The famous animal name kiwi for New Zealand soldiers came into general use during the First World War, and a giant kiwi (now known as the Bulford kiwi), was imprinted  on the chalk hill above Sling Camp in England.
  • Its popularity spreads all over the world. Because of this familiarity all New Zealanders overseas and at home are now commonly referred to as “Kiwis”
  • It is also imprinted on the coat of arms, peaks , clubs , organizations and badges of many New Zealand cities.
  • Royal New Zealand Air Force uses the red silhouette(a drawing of the outline of an object; filled in with some uniform color) of a kiwi is in the center of the round piece of armor plate that protects the armpit .
  • national rugby league team of new Zealand  are nicknamed by kiwis. Also, it is featured on the  logo of  New Zealand Rugby League.
  • The New Zealand dollar coin back side contains an image of a kiwi. IN currency trading the New Zealand dollar is often referred to as the kiwi.
  • The life span of kiwi is 8 to 12 years. And it is an omnivore.
  • It runs with a speed of 19km/h . It’s favorite food is worms.
  • Kiwi founds in grey,brown and white colors.

 History of kiwi:


The history of kiwi is 50 million years ago. It is observed that kiwi has grown from one kiwi forefather that was about 50 million years ago a proto kiwi. The country was named perhaps by a Dutch cartographer. Sometime after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman made the first recorded European landfall in 1642. In the 13th century or past before the arrival of human’s .

The three common species horses, wolves and mice were present in New Zealand’s. Its scientific name Apteryx is derived from Ancient Greek which means (without wing): A means without or not and pterux means wing

Why is kiwi the national animal of New Zealand ?

It is a national symbol of New Zealand. Due to its strong association, the term Kiwi is used internationally as the spoken or conversational demonym for New Zealanders.

It is a significant national icon equally valued by all cultures in New Zealand. The New Zealand national animal is the symbol for the uniqueness of the country wildlife and the value of natural culture.

For people of high rank, its fur is valued in weaving kahu kiwi (kiwi feather cloak). It became leading species for preservation and are often used as a measure for the state of the natural environment and the outcome and value of community conservation projects.

Due to its popularity in people of this country both in culture and community and all other aspects. Kiwi becomes officially the national animal of New Zealand. This is a detail guide all about Kiwi bird/animal. Kindly do let us know your thoughts about Kiwi.

Check Also:

kiwi: The National Animal of New Zealand
5 (100%) 1 vote

Leave a Reply