Kiwi taxonomy

Discussion about the evolution, relationships, and naming of New Zealand birds
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Kiwi taxonomy

Postby mikeprince » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:39 pm

Hi All

Someone recently posted a query on the BUBO Listing forum about the different "forms" of Kiwis. The list we use on BUBO Listing considers three species - what is generally the considered taxonomic treatment currently? The birder in question had just recorded "5 species/types of Kiwi in 5 attempts" - is this regular, or where they particularly lucky?!

(BUBO Listing is a website I run which allows birders to record lists they are interested in (not individual sightings) and compare them with other listers. We always try to use the most authoritative taxonomic source for any location worldwide. We have a few NZ listers registered, but would always welcome more!)

-- Mike --
-- Mike --

Record, share and compare with BUBO Listing at
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Re: Kiwi taxonomy

Postby simon.fordham » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:48 am

There are five species of kiwi:

North Island brown Kiwi - Apteryx mantelli
Tokoeka Apteryx australis
Little Spotted Kiwi Apteryx owenii
Great Spotted Kiwi Apteryx haastii
Rowi (Okarito Brown Kiwi) Apteryx rowi

The NI brown & tokoeka each have four distinct geographical forms but have not been described at the sub-specific level.

For more information visit: ... amily.html

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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Kiwi taxonomy

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:42 am

The latest Kiwi Recovery Plan (686KB) gives the reference for 5 spp as Burbidge et al. 2003

Burbidge, M.L.; Colbourne, R.M.; Robertson, H.A.; Baker, A.J. 2003: Molecular and other biological
evidence supports recognition of at least three species of brown kiwi. Conservation Genetics
4: 167–177.
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Re: Kiwi taxonomy

Postby THWorthy » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:41 pm

The upcoming checklist of NZ birds , due in June I think, will list all and the references. The fifth kiwi named was A. rowi
with the following citation in the new Checklist.

Apteryx rowi Tennyson, Palma, Robertson, Worthy & Gill, 2003: Rec. Auck. Museum 40: 57 – South Okarito Forest, South Westland.

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