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‘Egg’citing milestone for kiwi conservation



Egg jiggling slightly? Check. Tip of a long pink beak poking through? Check. Mewling sound? Check.

They say it takes a village to raise a child – well it's the same for one of New Zealand’s most endangered birds, the much-loved kiwi.

There's a lot of hard work and love that goes into saving kiwi and in an egg-citing milestone, the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa has just celebrated the arrival of their 2000th brown kiwi chick.

Viewers across the globe were able to tune in live and watch the egg-ceptionally special moment the baby chick makes its fluffy debut.

The first-in-the-world live stream follows the 2000th egg in its journey to become the newest kiwi celebrity.

The egg was laid somewhere between 75 and 78 days ago. It hatched around the 8 hour 14 minute mark of the livestream, viewable here:

The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, is the leading kiwi hatchery in the world, incubating and hatching more than 130 kiwi chicks each year – about 75 per cent of all kiwi incubated and hatched ex-situ in New Zealand.

Out of every 100 kiwi eggs laid in burrows in the forest, only five kiwi chicks will make it to adulthood. By hatching the kiwi eggs in safety at the hatchery and caring for them until they reach a “stoat-proof” weight of 1kg, their survival rate increases to 65 per cent.

Welcoming their ,000th chick is huge testament to the amazing work the team at the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa have been doing since receiving their first kiwi egg in 1995.

“We are thrilled to give the public this insider view of the arrival of this rare chick," National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa spokesperson Helen McCormick says.

"This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of a critically endangered species that is in rapid decline in the wild, and to learn about the important work the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa is doing to care for and protect our kiwi."

After the chick has hatched, the team at the National Kiwi Hatchery will give it a full health check-up and then place it in a specially designed hatcher.

After two days the chick will be moved to a brooder box – a creche for baby kiwi that’s a nice safe, warm place to grow up without having to worry about predators.

At three weeks old, the chick will be released into an outdoor enclosure mimicking natural forest conditions, staying there until it grows to one kilogram in weight. After four to five months it will be returned to the wild, big enough to fend for itself in the face of any predators.

Visitors to New Zealand can view the incubation and hatching work by purchasing a National Kiwi Hatchery tour when visiting Rainbow Springs in Rotorua. Rainbow Springs is owned and operated by NgƒÅi Tahu Tourism, which is also the National Kiwi Hatchery’s biggest sponsor.

Visitors can also see kiwi in the wild in other safe kiwi havens throughout New Zealand. See a full list here:

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