Kiwi are the smallest of the ratites, a group of flightless birds which includes the ostriches of Africa, the emu of Australia, and the extinct moa of New Zealand. Kiwi are biological oddities, unique in both appearance and behaviour, some of their features are features reminiscent of mammals rather than birds.
The kiwi found in Taranaki is the North Island Brown Kiwi (NIBK) that, apart from the Little Spotted Kiwi at the Zealandia Sanctuary in Wellington is the only kiwi on the mainland of the North Island.
Kiwi in TaranakiThis is an interactive map - turn the layers on and off, and see the Legend for what activity was observed.
The species of kiwi that is found in Taranaki, the North Island Brown Kiwi, generally prefer moist conditions, when the soil is easy to probe.
If the soil becomes too dry, the kiwi have more difficulty finding food. However, kiwi can live in a wide range of forest types, and will come out onto river flats, but the structure of the forest must provide the conditions to support a wide range of plants and insects required by the Kiwi.
These conditions usually are prevalent in Egmont National Park, especially the high alitiude (1,200m) Veronica Hill Track area, which is referred to as the "Goblin Forest" (see below) . The trees there are festooned with many species of filmy ferns, ferns, perching lilies, mosses and lichen with a few examples below. Kiwi are known to be in this area.
Other areas in the reigon where kiwi are known to be found are in the Uriti Forest Reserve and the Whitecliffs conservation area, which is in north-western Taranaki. The forest there is dominated by Hard Beech (upper hills) and Tawa (lower hills) with a variety of species underneath such as Nikau Palms and crown ferns.