Kiwi chicks travel by waka to new home on Motutapu

Michelle Impey from Kiwis for kiwi with Motutapu Island Trust volunteers. Photo / Art Polkanov
Michelle Impey from Kiwis for kiwi with Motutapu Island Trust volunteers. Photo / Art Polkanov

Three kiwi chicks have arrived at their new home as part of an effort to save a rare species of our national bird.

The Coromandel brown kiwi - one male and two female - were hatched at Auckland Zoo and will now live on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Motutapu Island was chosen for the trio, aged between three and five months, due to its lack of predators.

It is estimated there are only 1700 Coromandel brown kiwi remaining in New Zealand.

A partnership between Motutapu Restoration Trust, Rotoroa Island Trust, the Department of Conservation, Auckland Zoo, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, Ngati Paoa, Ngati Tamatera and the Coromandel Kiwi Collective is working to establish a sustainable population of the birds on Motutapu Island.

Their arrival brings the number of kiwi on Motutapu to 25, close to the 40 birds needed for the founder population.

The first kiwi were released on Motutapu in 2012.

Motutapu Restoration Trust chairman Brett Butland is celebrating the young birds' arrival.

"We've given a new slant to the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child'.

"While we will be looking after them while they're here, it has taken the dedication of many people to get them this far, and we thank them sincerely."

- NZ Herald

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