Ever heard of a Rowi?
Did you know that Okarito Forest (just near Franz Josef) is home to the rarest of the world's five species of kiwi? The Rowi is a special little kiwi who is now on the "nationally critical" list. It is thought that there are only 400 of this type of kiwi left in the wild, and their native habitat is just down the road from Franz Josef Glacier. Kiwi are vulnerable to the introduced pests that live in Westland who kill the birds and feed on their eggs. This small population of Rowi is now battling to survive in the 11,000 hectare Okarito forest and needs all the help they can get. Pop into the West Coast Wild Life Centre when you are in Franz Josef to learn all about what community groups and the Department of Conservation are doing to help protect the rare Rowi.