The Great Spotted Kiwis, and the other four Kiwi species, are also unique in that they have nostrils at the very ends of their beaks rather than closer to the head. They have excellent senses of smell, which makes up for their rather poor eyesight. Their noses help them to track down food, which includes insects and fruit.
Great Spotted Kiwis mate for life, which might be as long as twenty years. Only one gigantic egg is laid, which weighs up to 15% of the female's body mass. It is incubated by both parents for 70 days. Chicks become self sufficient within only two weeks, but they stay by the nest for a month or so.
Once numerous across the South Island, Great Spotted Kiwis are now on a population decline. They evolved in an environment with few ground predators, so the introduction of dogs, cats, weasels and other invasive predators has led to a decrease in birds. Conservation measures are being taken to remove predators from the equation, but the total number of birds is now believed to be less than 22,000.