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Kiwis threatened

WELLINGTON (AFP) - Uncontrolled dogs are causing a gradual decline in the numbers of New Zealand's kiwis - the flightless birds that are a national symbol - the Department of Conservation (DOC) said yesterday.

The numbers of the Great Spotted, South Island brown and North Island brown kiwis had all declined, the DOC said in its report on the first year of a recovery programme. Only the Little Spotted Kiwi is increasing in numbers.

The DOC has asked parliament for legal powers to authorise the shooting of dogs found attacking kiwis.