The kiwi, a flightless bird unique to New Zealand, is much more than a curiosity in that country.
The bird's special status explains why New Zealand plans to vaccinate its kiwis against avian flu if the deadly H5N1 virus is found in or near the country. The Conservation Department also announced that it would protect the kakapo, a large flightless parrot that is nearly extinct.
Many kiwis, both captive and wild, have already been fitted with radio transmitters so that they can be located quickly, The Associated Press reports. All 86 known kakapos have been wearing transmitters for some years.
Monday, May 15, 2006
BIRD FLU - Vaccination plans for Kiwi and Kakapo
Hamilton Spectator with an article on New Zealand's plans to vaccinate their native Kiwis and Kakapos if Bird Flu approaches.