Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Sad kiwi


This bird may be doomed. It’s genome has been sequenced, and there is very little genetic diversity in the remaining populations.

kiwi

Comments

  1. OptimalCynic says

    And worst of all, Americans keep getting it mixed up with the fruit. All together now:

    If it’s a bird, it’s a kiwi.

    If it’s a fruit, it’s a kiwifruit.

  2. fentex says

    Also funds for helping preserve it are being cut and introduced pests that ravage it and it’s environment (stoats, possums etc) will wear it down.

    But genetic diversity? The Black Robin was reduced to one breeding female before recovering to now 200 individuals. Maybe if the kiwi finds sanctuary it will be healthy enough to recover as well.

    It’s just unlikely we’ll ever leave it enough territory for itself, and genetics will be moot.

  3. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    @3 fentex (continued, posted too early)
    I dunno what the regulations are like, exactly, but isn’t access to the wilderness parts of Stewart Island kind of limited? Wouldn’t that qualify as a sanctuary/a good spot to be used as a sanctuary?

  4. fentex says

    access to the wilderness parts of Stewart Island kind of limited?

    No. Nowhere with a permanent population of people and our economic activity is protected from the pests we carry with us.

    As Deborah noted the best we can do for sanctuaries are islands we keep pest free – which includes free of people, but that’s an activity requiring funds and people don’t care enough to pay to preserve animals that don’t produce profits in any quantity.

  5. Mahoe says

    I think that study was specifically about the southern brown kiwi but there are two distinct populations of this, with the one on Stuart Island being more numerous and having behavioural characteristics that give it a better chance of of survival. Stuart Island is a wonderful place to visit if you like wild places and / or bird life.