2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

Little Spotted Kiwi

Scientific name:

 Apteryx owenii

Maori Name:

 kiwi pukupuku



Conservation status:

 Endemic. At risk - recovering

Mainland status:

 Probably naturally extinct


 30cm, 1.3kg (males) 2kg (females)


 30 years


 September - January


 Mainly invertebrates

First introduced to Tiri:

 16 birds in 1993

Population on Tiri:

 80-100 (July 2012)

Total population:

 1500+ (2012)

Little Spotted Kiwi - photographer: Simon FordhamDay visitors to Tiritiri Matangi are likely to see all but one of the translocated species of bird present on the Island. The one they almost certainly won’t see is the little spotted kiwi because, like all Kiwi, they are nocturnal. For those fortunate enough to spend the night on the Island, a night walk can be a most rewarding experience. As the Kiwi population grows and the birds become increasingly tolerant of human presence, the chance of an encounter has gone from being a possibility to a probability.

Five pairs of little spotted kiwi were released on Tiri in 1993, followed by six more birds two years later. A 1997 census showed the birds were breeding well with a population of around 25. This included the largest ever little spotted kiwi recorded at the time, a female weighing almost 2kg (this has since been surpassed on Tiri).

Endemic to New Zealand, there are also four other distinct species of kiwi. By far the most common are the brown kiwi (in the North Island) and tokoeka (on Stewart Island). The others are the rowi, which is by far the rarest kiwi species, and the great spotted kiwi. The little spotted is the smallest species of  kiwi. The only certain populations are on offshore islands, with most of these on Kapiti Island. 

Despite being our national symbol, the kiwi is rarely seen outside of captivity. It is a tragedy that, without outside help they are expected to all but disappear from the mainland within fifty years. The reason for this is predation. Although adults can generally fend off attacks from all but dogs, other predators, particularly stoats, wreak havoc on nests and juvenile populations. Juveniles leave their parents very early and it is believed that only 1-5% survive their first year. There is some hope however, thanks to 'Operation Nest Egg', a programme whereby eggs and juvenile kiwi are removed from the wild and raised in captivity. They are then released into their original habitat when large enough to fend for themselves.

On Tiritiri Matangi, there is a census of little spotted kiwi every five years. In July 2012, 32 individual birds were caught and a further three were seen. Four of the captured birds were from the original translocation in 1993. The estimated total population for the Island is 80-100 birds, a 38% increase on the 60-70 estimated in 2007. During the 2012 survey, five males were found incubating eggs. These are the earliest nests ever recorded for little spotted kiwi, two months earlier than expected.

Find out more about little spotted kiwi at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by
 Simon Fordham ©