This paper examines, theoretically, how dispersal affects the viability of brown kiwi populations in protected areas of different size. Brown kiwi are threatened by introduced mammalian predators in mainland forests and are likely to persist only in managed forests where predators are controlled. In each protected area, the kiwi population will function as a net source, with an outflow of juveniles into the adjoining forest and minimal backflow into the reserve.
Incubation behaviour varies among the different taxa of kiwi. For North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) and little spotted kiwi (A. owenii), only the male incubates the eggs, except for in the first week. Meanwhile, for Okarito brown kiwi (A. mantelli) and the tokoeka (A. australis), incubation is shared by both sexes. In addition, amongst southern tokoeka, family group members can assist with incubation to the extent that breeding males may take no part in incubation at all.
Kiwi possess many unusual features that make them interesting subjects for behavioural study. However, their nocturnal, cryptic nature has meant that studies to date rely on data collected indirectly. Infrared technology has enabled us to observe kiwi directly and here we present the first study of wild brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) behaviour by direct observation. We used handheld infrared video cameras to obtain c. 6 hours of video footage of kiwi over 19 months.