Snipe released on Codfish to breed

Snipe released on Codfish to breed

Last updated 07:28 13/01/2013

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Newly released snipe are doing well in their predator-free home.

The birds, from the Snare Islands, 200 kilometres south of New Zealand, have been transferred to Codfish Island by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

DOC staff have reported regular sightings of the little subantarctic birds in their new home.

Outlying islands manager Pete McClelland said the sightings could signal the establishment of a new breeding population.

"The birds are settling in well and should be ready to breed next spring and summer," he said

"We're excited about the prospect of this new population improving the chances of survival for the species."

The snipe, also known as tutukiwi, for their long beak and ground-dwelling habits, were once widespread around New Zealand but were wiped out by predators, mainly rats.

Thirty snipe were captured in hand nets on the Snares and transferred by boat to Codfish Island, west of Stewart Island.

McClelland said the transfer was funded by Tokyo Channel Six, which had a film crew making a programme about penguin behaviour around the Snares.

Snipe were transferred from the Snares to Putauhinu Island, off the southwest coast of Stewart Island in 2005, and had grown to a population of more than 500 birds.

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- The Press

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