Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Egg Hatches

Assuming that today's Willowbank press release wasn't a huge April Fool's Day prank like the floating hotel in yesterday's post (below), Willowbank Wildlife Reserve has welcomed the hatching of ts 89th kiwi chick this season, at the New Zealand Conservation Trust's facility at the reserve.
Images supplied by Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch.
Temporarily christianed 'Hot Cross,' the baby kiwi has since been named Nikau. The cute fluffy ball is a Great Spotted Kiwi, which originated from Paparoa and has been incubating at the New Zealand Conservation Trust's breeding facility for the last two months. Nikau is the Maori name for a native New Zealand palm tree, which ties in nicely with Easter and Palm Sunday. All chicks hatched at the breeding facility are released back into the wild at Okarito, Haast, Paparoa, Hawdon and Nelson lakes regions in the South Island when they reach1.2 kilograms in weight. The Great Spotted Kiwi species is believed to number in the region of 14-15,000 but it is declining at a rate of 2% (presumably per annum).

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