New Zealand
Kiwis (birds)

Why are kiwis a national symbol of New Zealand?

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2009-10-01 23:46:21
2009-10-01 23:46:21

Kiwis are native to New Zealand and not found anywhere else. Like many other species of birds in the country, they are completely unique to the islands of New Zealand, but more easily identifiable than some of the other native birds to both New Zealanders and those outside the country.

This flightless bird has some completely unique characteristics which are not shared with any other species, such as nostrils at the very end of its bill, and an extremely highly developed sense of smell which enables it to detect food underground to the length of its bill.

The kiwi is not the only native bird which is endangered in New Zealand, but it has a very distinctive and easily recognised shape, which make it ideal as a New Zealand "icon". It is also in need of protection as, like many other species, it has become highly threatened by the effects of European settlement.

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