Kiwi Birds Habitat

Kiwi Birds Habitat
The kiwi is a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand, where it is celebrated as one of the country's iconic symbols. Five species are recognized, and all are imperiled by habitat loss and exotic predators such as stoats.

Brown Kiwi

Brown kiwis originally inhabited lowland and coastal forests of the North Island, but modern populations must accommodate major alterations to this habitat: Today, they can also be found in agricultural land and tree plantations.


The least numerous of kiwis is the rowi. It survives today only in the podocarp/broadleaf lowland forest of an established sanctuary on the west-central coast of the South Island.

Great Spotted Kiwi

The largest of the kiwis inhabits the mountains of the northern peninsula of the South Island, favoring rugged terrain between 2,300 feet and 3,600 feet. According to the Save the Kiwi Trust, the great spotted's diverse habitats include "tussock grasslands, beech forests, podocarp/hardwood forests, scrub and pasture."

Little Spotted Kiwi

The little spotted kiwi, the smallest of the five species, survives mainly on a handful of offshore islands. On Kapiti Island, where they are most plentiful, they utilize all available habitats, from grassland and scrub to forest.


Four types of the primitive tokoeka are known from the South Island. Most favor mountainous habitats, but some, like the Steward Island tokoeka, also range in coastal dunes and lower-elevation scrub.

Article Written By Ethan Schowalter-Hay

Ethan Schowalter-Hay is a writer and naturalist living in Oregon. He has written for the "Observer," the Bureau of Land Management and various online publishers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Wisconsin.

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