Kiwi are unique to New Zealand. They evolved without land mammal predators or competitors. Their adaptations make kiwi seem more like mammals than birds. Kiwi are flightless, ground-dwelling, nocturnal, and have a keen sense of smell.
Years ago, stoats were brought to New Zealand from Europe to combat rabbit pests. Today, these introduced predators kill 70% of all kiwi chicks.
New Zealanders began Operation Nest Egg in 1994 to increase young kiwi survival rate. It's working!
In 1975, the National Zoo was the first zoo to hatch a kiwi chick outside of New Zealand! Our second chick hatched in 2006. We use the latest rearing protocols from Operation Nest Egg, combined with doting husbandry.