Human Interest

First Kiwi chicks hatch in Wellington since more than 150 years ago

Sydney, Australia, Dec 2 (EFE).- Two kiwi chicks, a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand and a symbol of the country, were born in the wild in an area near Wellington for the first time in more than 150 years, an animal protection association reported.

The babies of this bird, the size of a chicken and with a long beak, were found this week by two volunteers from The Capital Kiwi Project association, responsible for reintroducing the animal just a year ago to areas of the capital.

“Only a quarter of the 63 adult (kiwi) birds are being monitored, so it is likely that from now on there will be other chicks in our hills” of Wellington, The Capital Kiwi Project wrote on social media platform Instagram.

The association also said it observes another 18 kiwi eggs that could hatch during the current hatching season and thanked the support of volunteers and authorities to achieve this “milestone in the mission of restoring a large-scale wild kiwi population in the hills of the capital.”

It is estimated that there are currently about 68,000 kiwis in New Zealand, a huge drop from the population of 12 million centuries ago, according to the NGO Save the Kiwi.

According to the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the kiwi population is declining at an average annual rate of 2 percent, mainly due to predators such as cats, dogs and ferrets. EFE

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