A visiting conservationist and molecular biologist has joined calls to save our national bird.
Dr Stephen O’Brien, who is globally renowned for using tools of molecular biology to help protect endangered species, has been able to hold a kiwi during his speaking tour of the country.
The US scientist told the Herald the kiwi was an “icon that was worth rallying around”, remarking he wouldn’t want any New Zealanders to have to explain to their children or grandchildren that their namesake had been lost to extinction.
Despite conservation efforts, New Zealand’s 70,000-strong kiwi population was being lost at a rate of 2 per cent each year – or 27 birds every week – and the Department of Conservation has warned that without intervention, kiwi could die out within 50 years.
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Acknowledgements: NZ Herald