Ahead of the launch of Ivy the Kiwi? tomorrow (29th October), leading video games publisher Rising Star Games has today confirmed it will donate 10p for every Ivy the Kiwi? copy sold to the official Save the Kiwi charity.
The charity (sponsored by the Bank of New Zealand), helps raise awareness and valuable funds for the endangered species and its plight, protecting it and its natural habitat. The work being done to protect kiwi also benefits many other species in the ecosystem.
â€œWeâ€™re delighted to be able to announce our partnership with BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust,â€ says Martin Defries, managing director, Rising Star Games. â€œItâ€™s great to be able to give something back to the bird thatâ€™s the subject of our next game â€“ Ivy the Kiwi? â€“ and help work towards securing its future for years to come.â€
Michelle Impey, executive director of BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust is thrilled with the partnership. â€œThere is an incredible amount of work being done in New Zealand to save our national icon, but more needs to be done and that requires funding. Donations from sales of Ivy the Kiwi? will help to support this work, which includes BNZ Operation Nest Egg, a method where kiwi eggs are retrieved from the wild, incubated and hatched in captivity and reared to about 1kg in weight. At this point they are released back to the wild where they will then have a better chance of surviving to adulthood. This increases the survival rate from 5% to 65%. More than 1400 kiwi have been released back to the wild using this method.
â€œWe are thrilled not only for the financial support this partnership will offer, but also by the fact that this is helping us reach a new audience with our message. Kiwi are an amazing bird and have the same potential for global recognition and support as, for example, the panda and whale, and this is a great step to achieving that level of support.â€
Two hundred years ago millions of kiwi lived in New Zealand. By 1998 there were fewer than 100,000 birds and by 2008 that had fallen to 70,000 across five species. Today kiwi are managed in special sanctuaries and community led projects but outside these areas numbers are still predicted to decline.
New Zealand developed in the absence of mammals and so kiwi, like many other birds in NZ, are unable to defend themselves against the influx of mammalian predators that man has introduced, such as stoats, ferrets, weasels, possums, dogs, cats, pigs, rats, etc. Their defence mechanism is to run away or ‘blend and hide’ â€“ neither of which are sufficient defence anymore.
A tiny proportion of kiwi eggs produce a kiwi adult.
About 50% of all kiwi eggs fail to even hatch â€“ sometimes because of natural bacteria, sometimes because the adult bird is disturbed by predators.
Of eggs that do hatch, about 90% of chicks are dead within six months.
70% of these are killed by stoats or cats, and about 20% die of natural causes or at the jaws and claws of other predators.
Only 10% of kiwi chicks make it to six months.
Fewer than 5% reach adulthood.
Using a storybook-style presentation, Ivy the Kiwi? follows the adventures of a lonely baby bird searching for her mother. By traversing various stages and navigating through the obstacles that stand in her way, Ivy follows the trail of feathers with the hope of reaching her parents.
The game has been designed to make perfect use of the Nintendo DS and Wii controls, as players place vines to help guide the wandering baby bird through each puzzle-themed level. There are over 100 stages for DS and Wii, with multiplayer modes available.
To make a donation people can buy a copy of Ivy The Kiwi?, which will be released on 29th October on the Nintendo Wii and DS 2010 courtesy of Rising Star Games, or head to the official BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust website: www.savethekiwi.org.nz.