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Behaviour of Captive North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)

The behaviour of captive North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) in nocturnal displays and how different aspects of their enclosure and management might affect their behaviour has been studied. The most common behaviours expressed by all kiwi was feeding and sleeping/resting behaviour. Kiwi behaviour was compared from observational data collected at four kiwi facilities in New Zealand; identified as Kiwi House A, Kiwi House B, Kiwi House C and Kiwi House D. Kiwi husbandry (hutches and enrichment) and enclosure design (naturalistic and complex characteristics, size and lighting) varied between facilities. There is evidence to suggest that kiwi husbandry and enclosure design may have had an effect on the behaviour of the kiwi, as well as the kiwi viewing experience for the public. Disturbance sources (visitor-generated noise, visitor proximity, keeper disturbance and environmental disturbance) were observed to elicit abnormal behaviours (pacing, startle response) among the kiwi at Kiwi House A, Kiwi House B, and Kiwi House D. Results suggest abnormal behaviours can be minimised among the captive kiwi population by eliminating or reducing disturbance sources. The soundproofing qualities of the enclosure viewing windows at each facility were tested; the viewing window at Kiwi House C was the most effective in reducing sound. Kiwi House C also had the most soundproof enclosures due to the insulation material (Bondor Panel) used throughout the structure of the building. This research has resulted in more detailed information of captive kiwi and enclosures, as little information was available on the behaviour of captive kiwi. Furthermore, this research can provide reasoning for normal and abnormal behaviour demonstrated by the kiwi as well as give recommendations on how management of captive kiwi, enclosure design and structure might be improved in the future.
Type of thesis
Davison, K. P. M. (2015). Behaviour of Captive North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) (Thesis, Master of Science (Research) (MSc(Research))). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9496
University of Waikato
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