Kakapo chick boost to breeding scheme

Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014

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A kakapo chick has hatched on Little Barrier Island, pushing the successful hatches this season to six.

Five kakapo chicks have hatched successfully on Codfish Island, near Stewart Island, so far this year.

Another chick born on Codfish Island died a few hours after hatching last week.

The Little Barrier Island chick, Heather One, was discovered by Department of Conservation staff on Wednesday night.

Kakapo Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said the team was thrilled with the successful breeding on Little Barrier. Kakapo were only reintroduced there two years ago, after the birds were removed in 1999 to allow rats to be eradicated from the island, she said.

Meanwhile, the Codfish Island chicks were doing well, with two fostered out to kakapo hens who had been sitting on dummy eggs. The other three were being cared for in incubators and being hand fed.

The recovery team would monitor the chicks intensely to ensure they were healthy, Ms Vercoe Scott said.

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