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Hatching of 500th kiwi chick a proud moment

30 October 2007

Hatching of 500th kiwi chick a proud moment

Minister of Conservation Chris Carter today congratulated the Kiwi Encounter team at Rainbow Springs on the hatching of the programme’s 500th kiwi chick.
Kiwi Encounter is the first facility in the country to achieve such a milestone and the only facility of its kind open to the public.

“On behalf of all New Zealanders who care deeply about our native bird, I want to thank Kiwi Encounter staff and volunteers for all their hard work,” Mr Carter said.

“Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs has done an exceptional job, they can be enormously proud of this achievement.”

Prior to Kiwi Encounter and Operation Nest Egg, where kiwi eggs are taken from the wild and the chicks raised in captivity until they are of sufficient weight to have a chance against predators, less than 5 percent of kiwi hatched in the wild reached adulthood in areas without pest control.

Almost as important as the successful rearing of kiwi chicks was the opportunity Kiwi Encounter gave to New Zealanders and international visitors to tour the kiwi hatchery and nursery for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of kiwi conservation in action, the Minister said.

“Thousands of people have had that experience and it has been particularly important for our young people because it means future generations are more likely to treasure and protect our national icon in years to come.”

“As well, the amount of knowledge this programme has contributed to the rearing of these birds gives us some confidence of the kiwi’s survival into the future,” Mr Carter said.

“That is something all New Zealanders should be grateful for.”
Rotorua Department of Conservation staff presented Kiwi Encounter with a certificate to mark their achievements at a function today.

ENDS

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