What kind of bird is weka? Description of characteristics, ecology and habitat Flightless birds of New Zealand


What kind of bird is weka? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. New Zealand is home to several flightless birds, many of which have evolved independently. The same can be said for weka. However, the weka population has decreased dramatically and there is a possibility that it may become extinct.

What is Weka? About basic status

Weka is a type of flightless bird in the family Cinidae. It is a species endemic to New Zealand. The only species in the genus Gallirallus. The body length is 46-50 cm and the weight is 1-3 kg. Information on birds, not mammals, is listed below.

scientific name(学名)Gallirallus australis
classification(分類)Aves、 Gruiformes、Rallidae、Gallirallus
IUCN Status(保全状況)Vulnerable

About classification

“Weka” is a Maori word. This species was named Rallus australis by Anders Eriksson Spermann in 1789. In 1830, Johann Georg Wurgler proposed the genus Gallirallus to describe each weka as a species, but weka was classified as a single species in the genus Gallirallus.

Where does weka live?

Weka is endemic to New Zealand.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

Weka prefers to live in forests, subalpine grasslands, sand dunes, and beaches. Their biggest characteristic is that they cannot fly, and their feathers have degenerated, making them exactly the same characteristics as kiwis and kakapo.

What is Weka’s personality like?

They are endemic to New Zealand, and New Zealand is an environment without carnivores to begin with, so wekas have a very laid-back and easy-going personality, making them easy for humans to handle.

What is the ecology of weka?

Weka is very omnivorous. They feed on leaves, grass, fruits, seeds, etc., as well as larvae, beetles, welters, ants, and grass larvae. The breeding season takes place all year round, and the female weka lays her three cream-colored eggs with brown and mauve spots.

Who is Weka’s natural enemy?

Weka originally lived in a world without carnivores. However, Europeans introduced animals such as dogs and cats, and carnivores became a threat. The abundant weka were preyed on due to their small size.

Is weka an endangered species?

Weka is classified as an endangered species. The Department of Conservation’s Weka Recovery Plan, approved in 1999, has been launched and aims to recover the species. The reasons for the decline are as follows.

hunting by humans

Hunting by humans is a problem. The Maori hunted the weka for food and its skin and feathers for cloaks. Modern Europeans cleared vast tracts of land, reducing the weka’s habitat. As a result, their population has decreased significantly.

carnivores are introduced

Foxes, dogs, cats, and other animals were introduced by Europeans. Due to these presences, many native species, including weka, were heavily predated and drastically reduced. Most of the Weka on mainland New Zealand have become extinct, including in Auckland.

Can weka be kept?

Because the weka population has drastically decreased, they are strictly managed and extremely difficult for the general public to keep.


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