The rowi, the world’s rarest kiwi, will be going back to the North Island for the first time in hundreds of years.
Twenty of the rare kiwi species will be taken by helicopter to Mana Island near Wellington. The main objective of this move is to create a new colony in the area with hopes of improving the breeding prospects of the species.
The Department of Conservation removed the 20 rowi eggs during spring 2010 from the Okarito forest in South Westland to protect them from predators as part of Operation Nest Egg.
After they hatched that summer at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef, the chicks were raised to maturity on predator-free Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds.
The 18-month-old rowi will be transferred to their new residence on Mana Island. The Air Force will take care of their transportation.
— fisheggtree (Adam Bray) (@fisheggtree) Tue Jun 19 2012
Because the young rowi population will be sent to predator-free Mana Island, the rowi are expected to breed with lesser human intervention.
Mana Island is a good place for breeding because of the absence of predators, less competition for territories, and better breeding conditions. As such, it can be expected that many chicks will be produced to become part of the population in Okarito.
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