Aiding an Avian Identity

Though the battle to save New Zealand’s famous national symbol the kiwi is “conceded unwinnable on some fronts”; the bird’s existence is mounting with the help of Zealandia, Wellington’s Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, which expects to count about 40 of the birds by the end of 2009. “The squat, flightless bird appears a bit like a cross between a hamster and an anteater, with fur-like plumage, a long, quill-like beak and a grumpy demeanour. But don’t let its looks and ungainliness mislead you. This bird is to New Zealanders what the bald eagle is to Americans,” writes the Houston Chronicle. “When we talk about the kiwi – that’s our identity,” says conservation manager at the Sanctuary Raewyn Empson. “When all of a sudden you’re talking about kiwi becoming extinct in our lifetime, it’s a bit scary really.” The non-profit trust is trying to restore a square mile of river valley to its pre-human state. Empson is undaunted by the damage that needs undoing. “We’ve got a 500-year vision here,” she says. “We’re optimists.”


Tags: Chron.com  Kiwi  Wellington  Zealandia  

New Zealanders Turn over Their Guns

New Zealanders Turn over Their Guns

The first of more than 250 planned gun collections across New Zealand has been held in Christchurch. The buyback scheme was introduced after March mosque attacks in which 51 Muslim worshippers…