Thursday, 26 May 2011

White kiwi chick hatched

Manukura - the little white kiwi. from Mike Heydon on Vimeo.

Last updated 11:46 24/05/2011

A rare white kiwi chick has been born - the first to be hatched in captivity.

The chick, named Manukura, is not an albino but the rare offspring of some North Island brown kiwi from Little Barrier Island.

He was born at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, 24km north of Masterton, on May 1, weighing approximately 250 grams.

The Little Barrier Island kiwi were transferred to Pukaha in May last year.

Elders from the Rangitane o Wairarapa iwi gave the chick his name, which means "of chiefly status".

Rangitane chief executive Jason Kerehi said tribal elders saw the white chick as a "tohu" or "sign" of new beginnings.

"Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is," Kerehi said. "While we're celebrating all 14 kiwi hatched this year, Manukura is a very special gift."

Manukura is being hand-reared in Pukaha Mount Bruce's new kiwi nursery. He will remain in the nursery until the end of May, where visitors can view him in his nocturnal brooder box and at his daily weigh-in at 2pm.

The white chick will then remain in captivity with other chicks at Pukaha for at least four to six months. When it is old enough to protect itself, it could potentially be released into the sanctuary.

Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers, who manage the kiwi programme at Pukaha, will ensure the best interests of the bird remain a priority.

"A white kiwi might really stand out making it more vulnerable," said DOC area manager Chris Lester.

"We want to ensure that as many people as possible get a chance to see it, and that we keep it as safe as possible."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/cutestuff/5047359/White-kiwi-chick-hatched

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