All but one chick have survived one of the hottest and driest
hatching periods experienced at the Taiaroa Head albatross
A total 27 chicks hatched, equal to the record at the colony,
but one died, although from hypothermia not heat stress,
Department of Conservation ranger Lyndon Perriman said.
The weather during the hatching period at the colony during
late January and early February was ''terrible'' as it
encouraged heat stress and flystrike in the young birds.
''We had a huge number of problems thrown at us.''
The worst was when maggots infested the chicks and this year
eight suffered, he said.
''It takes a lot of time to find them and pull them out.''
Ordinarily, if a chick was struck by maggots its chances of
surviving were not great, but this year all eight survived.
''It's been a lot of drama, some long days, but we've got
through, with previous knowledge and experience helping.''
Once the hatching period was over, and the risk of flystrike,
the hot, dry weather was great for the chicks, Mr Perriman
The odd rainfall day did not worry them but ongoing rain with
cold southwesterlies could be a problem if chicks became wet
and bedraggled. In the case where the chick died, it appeared
its parent had left it exposed during a cool night.
There was still a way to go to see if all the chicks would
survive until fledging later this year, Mr Perriman said.