West Coast Wildlife Centre welcomes 101st kiwi chick

The Haast tokoeka is the most reclusive of all kiwi. Photo / Greymouth Star
The Haast tokoeka is the most reclusive of all kiwi. Photo / Greymouth Star

The West Coast Wildlife Centre at Franz Josef Glacier has hatched its 101st Haast tokoeka kiwi chick.

The Haast tokoeka is nationally critical and is at risk of extinction, with less than 400 birds left alive in the wild today.

Over 327 rowi and Haast tokoeka chicks have now been hatched at the centre.

"It is a real privilege to be able to partner up to help two of the world's rarest of kiwi that are both in immediate danger of extinction," owner Richard Benton said.

The Haast tokoeka is the most reclusive of all kiwi. They live in the most inhospitable environment which makes them very difficult to work with," Benton said.

The 101st chick is important as it is from a genetically very important sub-population found in the Arawhata River area. Haast tokoeka are distinctive from other kiwi as they have down-curved bills rather than straight bills seen in other species.

The as yet unnamed tokoeka chick will stay at the West Coast Wildlife Centre until about five weeks of age, when it will be transferred to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, in Dunedin.

- Greymouth Star

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