Saturday, December 29, 2007

Calling all Kiwis

New Zealand Builds a Nest Big Enough to Save Kiwis
Progress being made in New Zealand to save the various species of Kiwis:

...There are five species of kiwi, a smaller nocturnal relative of New Zealand’s now-extinct moa, and, more distantly, the emu and the ostrich. All kiwi species are listed on the country’s endangered species list. But two of them, the Rowi and Haast Tokoeka, are down to fewer than 300 birds, earning them a place on New Zealand’s “nationally critical” list, its most extreme category of endangered species...

Fortunately, New Zealand has the right attitude:

...So New Zealand’s government agencies have partnered with local communities, nonprofit groups like Save the Kiwi and commercial operations like the Willowbank reserve, to tackle the problem by trying to protect the birds until they have a better chance of defending themselves...

Captive breading and egg collection are risky policies, but for the Kiwi they have resutled in progress:

...Eggs are taken from kiwi nests in the wild and incubated in places like Willowbank. The newly hatched chicks are then taken to protected areas, many of them on isolated islands off the coast without predators, for about a year until they are big enough to fend for themselves. Then they are returned to the place their egg was found.After a slow start, Operation Nest Egg is picking up momentum. Its success rate is rising, and similar programs are starting throughout the country...Mr. McLennan is cautiously optimistic that Operation Nest Egg will stem the kiwis’ decline...“Because the rates of decline are relatively low at 2 to 5 percent, you don’t have to add many birds back into the population to make it break even,” he said...

No comments: