Koa the Kiwi

National Zoo
Video Title
Koa the Kiwi
Early in the morning on March 7, 2008 one of the worlds most endangered species—a male North Island brown kiwi chick called Koa—hatched at the Smithsonians National Zoo Bird House. Keepers had been incubating the egg for five weeks, following a month long incubation by the chicks father, carefully monitoring it for signs of pipping: the process in which the chick starts to break through the shell. The chick remained in an isolet for four days before moving to a specially designed brooding box. The box is not on exhibit, but is accessible by web cam on the Zoos Web site at http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Birds/. Since kiwis are nocturnal, the best time to view the chick exploring and foraging in its box will be in the evening. This is only the third time in the Zoos history that a kiwi has successfully hatched. The first hatching occurred in 1975 and was the first outside of New Zealand. The National Zoo did not have another successful hatching until 2005; that male bird, Manaia, may currently be seen Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the 11 a.m. Meet a Kiwi program at the National Zoos Bird House. Kiwis in captivity are extremely rare—only four zoos outside of New Zealand have successfully bred kiwis, and only three U.S. zoos, including the National Zoo, exhibit them. There are five species of kiwi and all are unique to New Zealand. The North Island brown species of kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand. They are widely thought to be the most ancient bird and have existed in New Zealand for more than 30 million years. Kiwis typically mate for life, and both parents share the responsibility of caring for the egg. After kiwi chicks hatch, however, they receive no parental care. Unlike other bird species, kiwis hatch fully feathered and equipped with all of the necessary skills they need to survive. The North Island brown kiwi species is classified as endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. The wild population is declining at a rate of approximately 5.8 percent a year. Nearly 60 percent of all wild North Island brown kiwi chicks are killed by stoats, a species of weasel and an introduced predator. The remaining wild population of the North Island brown kiwi is roughly 24,000, down from 60,000 in the 1980s.
Video Duration
5 min 14 sec
YouTube Keywords
zoo "national zoo" "smithsonian national zoo" "dc zoo" animals science conservation
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Science & Technology
Zoology;Animals;Veterinary medicine;Animal health
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