The brown kiwi is restricted to Fiordland in the South Island of New Zealand. They are also found in Stewart Island.
These birds are 45-55 cm long and have merely vestigial wings. Females tend to be larger than males. The females weigh 2,1-3,9 kg while the males weigh 1,6-2,8 kg.
Brown kiwis are found in densely vegetated habitats, mostly temperate and sub-tropical forests, scrubland and grassland. In Stewart Island they are found on sand dunes.
These birds are nocturnal, using smell to find invertebrates in dirt. They mostly eat earthworms, coleoptera larvae, snails, spiders, centipedes and orthoptera.
Brown kiwis are monogamous and pair for life. The nests are made in burrows or sheltered beneath thick vegetation, and the female typically lays just 1 egg. The male incubates the egg for 90 days. A few days after hatching the chick will exit the nest and feed on its own, but it may stay near the parents for up to 1 year.
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
The brown kiwi population is estimated at 27.000 individuals. They have a restricted breeding range and are declining fast due to predation by introduced species. Cats, stoats Mustela erminea and brush-tailed possums Trichosurus vulpecula eat chicks and juveniles up to c. 1200 g, while dogs, ferrets Mustela furo and the brush-tailed possum kill juveniles and adults. The predation pressure is believed to be lower in Stewart Island, where the population is more stable.