A new review examines the latest data on kiwi genetics for wildlife conservation

Kiwis are iconic birds that have been hit hard by deforestation and looting of invasive mammals since the arrival of humans in New Zealand.

The remaining kiwi can be divided into 14 clusters, which are now treated as separate conservation management units. Review published in Ibiso examines the latest information on kiwi genetics to explore the legitimacy to preserve these differences.

Although studies indicate that kiwi is genetically different between areas, little is understood about the extent of local adaptations and reproductive changes in populations. The work highlights the need for a more detailed understanding of the genetics of different species for wildlife conservation.

Using kiwi as an example, we hope to convey that results from some genetic studies cannot be easily translated into genetic management policy. Conversely, studies using information markers and strategic sampling regimes are needed if the target is diverse and long-term successful populations, ”

Malin Undin, PhD, Study Lead Author, Massey University in New Zealand