15 Feb 2019

Kākāpō chick growth looking promising

From Morning Report, 7:55 am on 15 February 2019

There is good news from down south, where the endangered kākāpō is having its best breeding season ever. No one is game enough to predict exactly how many chicks might make it to adulthood, but the numbers look promising.

A two-day-old kakapo chick being hand-reared.

A two-day-old kakapo chick being hand-reared. Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

To date, 170 eggs have been laid, and 30 chicks have hatched, with more on the way. One chick died at two days old, but the Department of Conservation's Deidre Vercoe says the rest are thriving. Vets from Auckland Zoo and the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital are helping out with hand-rearing most of the kākāpō chicks, although some have been returned to wild mothers after being being artificially incubated.

Kākāpō Files producer Alison Ballance has just been down to Whenua Hou / Codfish Island to check on the action.