24 Jan 2013

New research to help prevent killer kiwi disease

9:08 pm on 24 January 2013

A Massey University veterinarian says she has learnt how to help prevent a disease that is responsible for the death of kiwis in captivity.

Kerri Morgan works at Wildbase Hospital and has discovered how a parasite interacts with kiwi and how to prevent the illness as a result.

The parasitic disease coccidiosis affects the bird's gastrointestinal and renal system.

Dr Morgan says fewer than 5% of kiwi chicks in the wild reach adulthood, which is why it is important to ensure their health in captivity.

Captive kiwis are vulnerable to the disease due to overcrowding in enclosures.