ENDEMIC. AT RISK. RECOVERING.
DISTRIBUTION: A distinct form of Little Spotted Kiwi used to live through out the North Island, but became extinct in the late 1800s. In the South Island, Little Spotted Kiwi were widespread in the west and north during the early 1900s, but gradually disappeared, leaving a small population on D'Urville Island. It is believed that five Little Spotted Kiwi were introduced to Kapiti Island from the Jackson Bay area in 1912, where they flourished. Since 1983, birds have been transferred from Kapiti to establish new populations on Hen, Tiritiri Matangi, Motuihe, Red Mercury, Long (Marlborough Sounds), and Chalky Islands, and to Zealandia/Karori Sanctuary (Wellington).
Without the sanctuary of offshore islands, Little Spotted Kiwi may have become extinct.
HABITAT: On Kapiti Island they occupy all vegetation types, including flax, mixed scrub, older forest, and rough grassland. Lower numbers in scrub and grassland areas suggest these are the places they like the least.
FOOD: Little Spotted Kiwi eat mostly small invertebrates, earthworms, larvae of beetles, cicadas, flies and moths; spiders, adult beetles and some small fallen fruit.
Call: Male gives a high-pitched ascending whistle whilst the female gives a slower and lower pitched warbling whistle.
GENERAL: Estimated population is thought to be just over 1500 and growing.
The smallest of the five kiwi species. Feathers are light brownish grey, finely mottled or banded horizontally with white.
As with other kiwi species, Little Spotted Kiwi pairs are monogamous. Little Spotted Kiwi usually have one egg in a clutch, and usually just one clutch a season. Sometimes breeding pairs will lay a second clutch if the first egg fails. Chicks first leave the burrow to feed when 5–7 days old. Only the male parent stays near the young chick, which returns to its nest to sleep for between 20 and 60 days after hatching. At night, while the chick is out feeding, the female does stay nearby to offer protection, but she never returns to the nest.
The pairs are strongly territorial and stay in their patch all year round.
Because the Little Spotted Kiwi live on islands and places where they are protected from their predators, their population is increasing and so there is no captive breeding programme in place for this species.