Kiwi Species

Photo credit Tae Eke


It is thought that around 70,000 Kiwi remain on the two islands of new Zealand. One might think that this was high, but it is estimated that there were around 12 million before humans arrived – so around 0.5% of the population survives. More importantly, this is after a great deal of work has been done by many grassroot groups, in order to shore up the population – it has been far lower in the past.

Furthermore, roughly 2% of the umanaged kiwi are lost each week (around 20 birds). When well protected, a kiwi can live 25-50 years.


Rowi Kiwi

The rarest species, there are only thought to be around 450 of this bird remaining (as of last full survey in 2015). It is found in Ōkārito forest and surrounds in South Westland, predator-free islands of Marlborough Sounds, this is one of 5 designated kiwi sanctuaries declared in 2000.


As you can see, Kiwi is not a species but a group of species. While different species have been known to breed where their range overlaps, saving each species is a separate task

Tokoeka Kiwi

Translating to Weka with a walking stick, this species

  • Haast tokoeka is Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable 400
  • Southern Fiordland is Threatened – Nationally Endangered
  • Northern Fiordland tokoeka is Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable
  • Rakiura tokoeka is At Risk – Naturally Uncommon

Stoats are the main threat, with the total population numbering around 13000

Great Spotted Kiwi

Current population 14,000, it is restricted to the upper parts of the south islands national parks – specifically Sub-alpine zones of North West Nelson, the Paparoa Range, and Arthur’s Pass. 

The largest species, it is thought to be declining by around 1.6% a year.

There are 4 genetically distinct populations Northwest Nelson, Westport, Paparoa Range and Arthur’sPass–Hurunui.

There are plans in place to save the species but time will tell if they prove successful. 


Little spotted Kiwi

With a population of 1670it is found on Kapiti island (1200 are found on Kapiti island, from 5 translocated to the island early in teh 20th century) and 10 other pest free areas.

They start feeding themselves and roaming alone at 5-7 days, though they will return to the nest for around 60.

Each population is either stable or growing, so the overall trend is up.

Brown Kiwi

Living in lowland and coastal native forest and subalpine areas in the North Island, there are around 26,000 of this species. Although the most numerous, the population is reducing around 2-3% each year. It is estimated that without a change it will be lost in 2 generations.

Having said this, they have a greater capacity to recover, as unlike other species, they usually produce 2 eggs each time they mate, and can produce 2 clutches a year.

There are 4 distinct subspecies which live in different areas and do not interbreed.

  • Northland brown kiwi 8000
  • Coromandel brown kiwi 1700
  • Western brown kiwi 8000
  • Eastern brown kiwi 8000

Main threats is from predation by dogs.

As always, we are keen to add links that will allow people to book to see these animals in the wild. If you work as a tour guide or similar, do get in touch – click on list your wild place on the home page.

1. Tragelaphini – spiral-horned antelope

1. Tragelaphini - spiral-horned antelope



The Cape bushbuck , also  known as imbabala is a common, medium-sized and a widespread species of antelope in sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in a wide range of habitats, such as rain forestsmontane forests, forest-savanna mosaic, savanna, bushveld, and woodland. Its stands around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh from 45 to 80 kg. They are generally solitary, territorial browsers.

Although rarely seen, as it spends most of its time deep in the thick bush, there are around 1 million in Africa

Common Eland

 The common eland (southern eland or eland antelope) is a large-sized savannah and plains antelope from East and Southern Africa. An adult male is around 1.6 m  tall at the shoulder (females are 20 cm  shorter) and can weigh up to 942 kg with a typical range of 500–600 kg. Only the giant eland is (on average bigger). It was described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766. Population of 136,000, can form herds of 500

Common Eland

Giant Eland

Giant Eland

The giant eland, (also known as Lord Derby’s eland and greater eland) is an open-forest and savanna antelope.

 It was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (87–114 in). There are two subspeciesT. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.

The giant eland is a herbivore, living in small mixed gender herds consisting of 15–25 members. Giant elands have large home ranges. They can run at up to 70 km/h.  They mostly inhabit broad-leafed savannas and woodlands and are listed as vulnerable and have a wild population of 12,000-14,000

Greater Kudu

The greater kudu  is a large woodland antelope, you can see its distribution on the map. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation, and poaching. 

The spiral horns are impressive, and grow at one curl every 3 years – they are fully grown at 7 and a half years with 2 and a half turns. Three subspecies have been agreed (one described has been rejected) :


  • T. s. strepsiceros – southern parts of the range from southern Kenya to Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa
  • T. s. chora – northeastern Africa from northern Kenya through Ethiopia to eastern Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea
  • T. s. cottoni – Chad and western Sudan
They are listed as near threatened with 118,000 in the wild
Greater Kudu

Lesser Kudu

Lesser Kudu

The lesser kudu  is a medium-sized bushland antelope found in East Africa.  It was first scientifically described by English zoologist Edward Blyth (1869).It stands around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh from 45 to 80 kg. They are generally solitary, territorial browsers.

While currently rated not threatened, its population is decreasing. It currently stands at 100,000, but it is loosing territory to humans

Common Bongo (and mountain Bongo)

The bongo  is a large, mostly nocturnal, forest-dwelling antelope, native to sub-Saharan Africa. Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes, and long slightly spiralled horns. It is the only member of its family in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics. They are the third-largest antelope in the world.

The Common (western or lowland bongo), faces an ongoing population decline, and the IUCN considers it to be Near Threatened.

The mountain bongo (or eastern) of Kenya, has a coat even more vibrant than the common version. The mountain bongo is only found in the wild in a few mountain regions of central Kenya. This bongo is classified by the IUCN  as Critically Endangered (where it breeds readily). (this is not on the map above). Only 100 live wild, split between 4 areas of Kenya

Common Bongo



The Nyala is a spiral horned species

 found in Southern Africa. The nyala is mainly active in the early morning and the late afternoon. It generally browses during the day if temperatures are 20–30 °C  and during the night in the rainy season. The nyala feeds upon foliage, fruits and grasses, and requires sufficient fresh water. It is a very shy animal, and prefers water holes to the river bank. Not territorial, they are very cautious creatures. They live in single-sex or mixed family groups of up to 10 individuals, but old males live alone. They inhabit thickets within dense and dry savanna woodlands. The main predators of the nyala are lion, leopard and African wild dog, while baboons and raptorial birds prey on juveniles. Males and females are sexually mature at 18 and 11–12 months of age respectively, though they are socially immature until five years old. They have one calf after 7 months of gestation. Its population is stable, with the greatest threat coming from habitat loss as humans expand. There are thought to be 36500 and the population is stable.

Mountain Nyala

 The mountain Nyala (also known as the Balbok) is a large antelope found in high altitude woodlands in just a small part of central Ethiopia. The coat is grey to brown, marked with two to five poorly defined white strips extending from the back to the underside, and a row of six to ten white spots. White markings are present on the face, throat and legs as well. Males have a short dark erect crest, about 10 cm (3.9 in) high, running along the middle of the back. Only males possess horns.

The mountain nyala are shy and elusive towards human beings. They form small temporary herds. Males are not territorial. Primarily a browser. They will grazing occasionally. Males and females are sexually mature at 2 years old.. Gestation lasts for eight to nine months, after which a single calf is born. The lifespan of a mountain nyala is around 15 to 20 years.

Found in mountain woodland -between 3000m and 4000m. Human settlement and large livestock population have forced the animal to occupy heath forests at an altitude of above 3,400 m (11,200 ft). Mountain nyala are endemic to the Ethiopian highlands east of the Rift Valley. As much as half of the population live within 200 square km (77 sq mi) area of Gaysay, in the northern part of the Bale Mountains National Park. The mountain nyala has been classified under the Endangered category of the  (IUCN). Their influence on Ethiopian culture is notable, with the mountain nyala being featured on the obverse of Ethiopian ten cents coins.

Mountain Nyala

Situnga Antelope

Common Eland

The sitatunga  (or marshbuck)is a swamp-dwelling medium-sized antelope found throughout central Africa (see the map to the right. The sitatunga is mostly confined to swampy and marshy habitats. Here they occur in tall and dense vegetation as well as seasonal swamps, marshy clearings in forests, riparian thickets and mangrove swamps.

The scientific name of the sitatunga is Tragelaphus spekii. The species was first described by the English explorer John Hanning Speke in 1863.

It is listed as least concern with 170,000-200,000, and are found in 25 countries. However 40% live outside reserves, so the situation could get worse fast.

Note: these animals have been dealt with in less detail than others. Should you be interested in finding out if I have written on these animals or what exactly I said, you can find you by searching for it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Agile Mangabey

Agile Mangabey

The agile mangabey is an Old World monkey of the white-eyelid mangabey group found in swampy forests of Central Africa in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, and DR Congo.

Until 1978, it was considered a subspecies of the Tana River mangabey. More recently, the golden-bellied mangabey  has been considered a separate species instead of a subspecies of the agile mangabey.

Similar to other mangabeys, they are active during the day. Although generally tree-living, they do spend a significant portion of their time (12–22%) on the ground, especially during the dry season. It is often heard first, and males have a loud, species-specific call that is believed to be used to space themselves out – in a similar way that wolves operate with howls. Other calls are also used to maintain group cohesion and warn of predators. Group size can be as high as 18 members, led by a single dominant male. Group meetings can be friendly and may involve exchange of members.

Adult males not in groups often travel singly.

Fruit makes up a major portion of the agile mangabey diet. They are known to eat at least 42 different species of fruit. Their tooth structure and powerful jaws allows them to open tough pods and fruits that many other monkeys can not access. Agile mangabeys eat from a number of dominant swamp-forest trees, including Irvingia, Sugar plums when they are fruiting. They also eat fresh leaf shoots from Raffia palm when fruits are scarce. Grass and mushrooms, Invertebrates, bird’s eggs and some vertebrate prey, such as rodents.

As we find links, to help you book to see this species, the links will be added at the bottom of the page.

African forest Elephant

African Forest elephants

There are three species of elephant, the African savanna elephant, African forest elephant and the Asian elephant. 

With the African species, Forest elephants have declined 86% between 1986 and 2015, African Bush elephants declined 60% 1965 and 2015 leaving just over 400,000. African forest elephants are thought to number between 100,000 and 150,000.

Perhaps the most scary fact is that the African forest elephant was only declared as a separate species in 2021 only 2 years ago. These species are not particularly similar – indeed the Asian elephant is more genetically similar to the mammoth, than the African savannah elephant is to the African forest elephant! 

The African forest elephants population has declined precipitably in the last few years. Given the recognition that the forest elephant is a separate species only came 2 years ago, it is hard to get accurate historic figures. Never-the-less, the combined african elephant species population was thought to be around 26 million in 1800, and 1.34 million in 1976. The estimate is currently around 100-200,000 forest elephants. One of the problems, is that the African forest elephant is an essential part of the ecosystem. There are many trees, which rely on forest elephants to carry their seeds through the forest, so that they germinate a good distance from the original plant (more than a few of the same plant in the same area, causes the pest that feeds on the tree to multiply to the point where it can kill the tree. While it is true that other animals like gorillas and chimpanzees can do this, they do it far less. Should the forest elephant be lost, the African rainforest is likely to be far less capable of of handling the various changes, like climate change that is coming.

The last strongholds are in Gabon (a survey last year suggested Gabon has 95,000 forest elephants, rather than the 60,000 that was originally thought) and the Republic of the Congo and Democratic republic of the Cong, with smaller populations remaining in other African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea) and Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Ghana in west Africa. There is much space for forest elephants to greatly recover, if the poaching is able to stop.

Below this, you will see a video on this species, and below this is a list of any times that the african forest elephant has been mentioned within this blog.

Below this, at the bottom of the page, we hope to list places where you can go to see this species in the wild – if you work in conservation or tourism around this species, do get in touch. we would love to list you, and it costs nothing to be listed, we merely work on commission.

Dog family tree

The Dog (caninae) family tree

The arctic wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf found native to the High Arctic tundra of Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands, from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island.

The Dogs also form an incredibly successful family. They have spread to even more so more of the earths surface has a dog living in each area. They has been classified into 2 tribes.

The first tribe is the tribe Canini (true dogs), which is further split into two subtribes. Each sub tribe is in turn split into a number of Genus, which have a number of species each

The first subtribe is Canina which is wolf like Canids, this is in term split into 4 genus which I will take in turn


First genus  is Canis, which is subdivided into 6 species 2 of which have into subspecies.

The second genus is Cuon and only has one member in it. This is found in central south and south east Asia.

The next genus is Lupulella, and has two members, both found in Africa

The last Genus in Canis is Lycaon. This only has one member, which is the African wild dog

The second subtribe is Cerdocyonina (south American Dogs). There are 5 genus with living members (South American dogs), with the 6th (Dusicyon) containing 2 extinct species – so we will not mention this agai .

Of the 5 genus with living members, Lycalopex is one of these genus with 6 species. Lycalopex is made up of South American fox species – it should be noted that these so called South American foxes are not foxes. While they look like foxes, they are more closely related to Jackals and wolves.

The other 4 Genus in this subtribe, with living members each only have one member, so I will deal with these Genus in one go. These Genus are  Atelocynus, Cerdocyon, Chrysocyon and Speothos. In the same order, the species that inhabit each of these genus are Short eared-dog, Crab eating fox, Manned wolf and the Bush dog.

Then there is a tribe called Vulpina, sub divided into 3 Genus. these are essentially the fox like canines

  • The Nyctereutes which consist of the Racoon dogs: the common raccoon dog and the Japanese racoon dog.
  • The Otocyon which consists of the bat eared fox
  • The Vulpes: Which I will deal with in the next section, separately (below

The true fox family is a large extended family of foxes from around the world. They all behave in a similar way, though the habitat in which they live can be very differemt

Finally there is a Genus on its own called Urocyon which consists of grey foxes, of which there ae only 2 surviving members.

Pampas cat (previously called the Colocolo cat)

Pampas cat (previously called the Colocolo cat)

Pampas cat

This cat is found through a range of of habitats at all altitudes across South America. It is often confused with other Leopardus small spotted cats as its coat can be patterned, however the variety with the plain coat is unique to this species.

It is named after the Pampas which is an area of grassland, but is found in grassland, shrubland and dry forest up to heights of 5000m (16,000ft).


Guina (also called the Kodkod)

Guina or Kodkod

The Guina is found primarily in central and Southern Chile, as well as in parts of Argentina at the same latitudes.

Guina (kodkod) taken by Mauro Tammone

Melanistic (black versions) do occur in places. It is usually found in mixed temperate rainforests of the Southern Andean chain and coastal areas such as the Valdivian and Araucaria Forests of Chile, which has bamboo in its lower levels. It prefers evergreen temperate rainforests to deciduous temerate moist forests (or scierophyllous scrub or coniferous forests). It can be found in altered forest, so does alright in areas where humans have disturbed the forest, or in the edges of settled and cultivated areas. It is found as high as 1900m (which is at the treeline) In Argentina it has been recorded in moist Montane forest, which has Valdivian temperate rainforest characteristics, including those with many layered structure with bamboo or numerous lianas and epiphytes.

They are equally happy to be active in the day or the night, though rarely venture into open spaces during the day.

The main threat to their survival is the destruction of the rainforest. Those living near human habitation have also been killed after taking chickens. They are classed as vulnerable.

Analysis has shown that its closest relation is the Geoffrey’s cat

Andes Cloud forests

One of the most fascinating habitats are cloud forests. These occur between 1800m and 3500m, and are characterized by being very wet environments.

These are incredibly biodiverse places

The Andes cloud forests stretch over 3 countries and a map with links to each is included below. I am yet to have any links here, but would be eager to talk to anyone who works in tourism in this area

Andes Cloud forest – Ecuador

Andes cloud forest of Ecuador

The Andes cloud forest fill a large part of the Ecuadorian highlands.


Although very rich in flora and fauna, few large mammals are found in the Andean Cloud forests, including the Yungas and parts of the Choco exceptions being the threatened mountain tapir, spectacled bear and yellow-tailed woolly monkey.

Ecuador has a national park called

Sangay national park. click here for our listing of it

To go to the general Andes cloud forest page click here

As links start to appear these will appear below

aaa Madagascar Rainforest

Madagascar Rainforest

Madagascar contains an amazing array of fascinating wildlife. Lemurs make up much of this with 32 different species, but there is also a wide range of reptiles and birds. Over the last 2 centuries since humans settled on Madagascar 90% of the rainforest, and the rest continues to be under threat.

Tourism can help – we can show that the forest has more value standing than cut down.

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