Kiwi chick gives hope for species survival

A kiwi chick released on an island off the Kapiti coast may be the key to securing the future for the world’s most endangered kiwi – the rowi.

Minister Nick Smith holds the rowi chick before it is released at Mana Island. photo credit Peter Wiezoreck

The as-yet-unnamed rowi Kiwi chick was this week helicoptered to Mana Island — a predator-free kiwi sanctuary — as part of the National Kiwi Recovery Programme.

The kiwi hatched on Blumine Island in the Malborough Sounds and when discovered was moved to Mana in the hope of increasing genetic diversity in the Mana rowi population.

Kiwis for kiwi executive director, Michelle Impey says the chick’s hatching could unlock the species’ gene pool, genetically diversifying the rowi population which stands at just 375.

“With an estimated one third of rowi unproductive and with the population down to just 80 breeding pairs, this precious chick could literally ensure the survival of the species,” says Ms Impey.

A public competition is being held to name the kiwi chick.

Coverage of the Kiwi’s release includes:

Dominion Post: Rowi Kiwi Discovery Signals Hope For Endangered Kiwi
MSN News: Illicit affair gives rarest kiwi new hope
NZ City News: Rare kiwi chick worth weight in gold
Yahoo NZ News: Rare kiwi chick holds survival hopes
TVNZ News: Rare kiwi chick provides hope for species
NZ Herald: Survival of kiwi species depends on feisty young chick
TV3 News: Kiwi chick ‘could save species’
Radio NZ: Rare rowi kiwi chick released into new home