Two Kakapo chicks hatch

One of the newest members of the kakapo population. Photo from DOC.
One of the newest members of the kakapo population. Photo from DOC.
Two kakapo chicks have successfully hatched on Codfish Island, bringing the endangered bird's population to 93.

As well as the 25 confirmed fertile eggs yet to hatch, there are another eight to be checked and seven more females are ready to nest.

Volunteers and kakapo recovery staff are keeping a close eye on the two chicks and monitoring their progress.

Kakapo Recovery team leader Deidre Vercoe said the chicks, from the same nest, could well be the descendants of Richard Henry, the only surviving kakapo from Fiordland.

His genes were valuable in providing genetic diversity to the kakapo population.

"It is such an exciting time for Kakapo Recovery with so many breeding-age females having mated and, with more matings happening, things are going to get even busier on the island."

Out of the 38 breeding-age females, 27 had mated and expectations were that this season would end with an 80% mating rate.

"It will be awesome to bring the kakapo population to more than 100 and all signs are indicating that could very well happen.

If this breeding season produces 30 to 40 chicks it will be a huge step in the recovery of this species," she said.

Kakapo only bred every few years when the rimu fruit was right so they had enough food for their young.

"If it doesn't ripen there won't be enough fruit for the mothers to feed their young and we will have to look at bringing the chicks to the mainland and hand-rearing."

Although one of kakapo Lisa's chicks was expected to be the first to hatch, it failed but she had mated again.

The success of artificial insemination would not be known until parentage could be determined.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter