A Symbol Of New Zealand, The Kiwi; Captured On A Resin Fridge Magnet
The kiwi is not just any bird; it is a world renowned symbol for the beautiful country of New Zealand. Indigenous to this country it is found on both the North and South Island. There are five specific species of kiwi, all similar in size to a chicken. The largest of these is the Great Spotted Kiwi which is found in areas of the South Island. Also found on the South Island are the Okarito Kiwi, and the Southern Brown Kiwi. The smallest of the Kiwi species, the Little Spotted Kiwi, could at one time also be seen on the South Island but now lives only on several of the surrounding small islands, including Kapiti Island. The remaining species is the North Island Brown Kiwi which, as its name suggests, is found on the North Island; it is the most common species. The kiwi name is not just associated with these feathered creatures though; it is also a worldwide colloquialism for a human inhabitant of New Zealand. The feathered version does make an interesting subject for this lovely fridge magnet though, available to buy from World-wide-gifts.com Internet Store.
The Kiwi And Its Protection
The name kiwi originates from the name the native Maori people gave to its call. The bird was an integral part of Maori life; it was used for food and its feathers were used in ceremonial cloaks. To this day feathers are still used this way but they are the plumage of birds that have died naturally; the kiwi is no longer hunted. An interesting fact is that a kiwi mates for life and each year the female lays one egg. In comparison to its body size the kiwi lays the largest eggs of any bird. Another feature of kiwi behaviour is that they are mostly seen at night. It is not certain whether this is an adapted part of kiwi nature done to avoid the increasing number of predators introduced to their habitat over the years. Predators are a big threat to the kiwi, in some areas stoats, in particular, are to blame for about half of all kiwi chick deaths. For that reason there are sanctuaries throughout New Zealand where this famous national symbol is protected. In these sanctuaries the kiwi is often seen during daylight hours and not just at night.
Whangarei Kiwi Sanctuary
This sanctuary consists of several land areas accumulating to a total of 10,000 hectares to the northwest and southeast of the city of Whangarei, New Zealand’s northernmost city. The land utilised is both conservation area and privately owned. The kiwi is protected by the restriction of the number of predators; stoat trapping has been particularly effective. There is still a problem in the area with dogs killing the birds and dog owners are constantly reminded of the need to control their animals. A significant breakthrough in increasing kiwi numbers has been achieved through Operation Nest Egg. This process works by removing kiwi eggs from the wild, half way through the seventy-five day incubation period, and hatching them at Auckland Zoo. The chicks are located in the safe environment of Motuora Island until their weight reaches 1,200g at which point they are better able to withstand the threat of predators. These birds are then released into sanctuary lands; the one hundredth kiwi to go through this process was released in 2012.
Visiting The North Island Of New Zealand
Whangarei is a small part of the beauty of New Zealand’s North Island. The sites to see range from the bustle of largest city Auckland, to the eerie splendour of Rotorua’s geothermal geysers, and the majestic views afforded from the cable car in capital city, Wellington. Another worthwhile place to visit is Taupo where the breath-taking lake takes centre stage. In the same area tourists can witness the power of more than 220,000 litres of water per second roaring over a cliff at Huka Falls. More of the fabulous waters of New Zealand can be seen by travelling from Wellington to Picton on the South island, across the Cook Strait. If you ever get to visit this amazing part of the world you can have a reminder by purchasing this resin fridge magnet from World-wide-gifts.com Internet Store. If you never reach New Zealand why not buy this lovely item anyway as a little piece of memorabilia capturing one of the most famous birds in the world.