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Albatross chick set for internet stardom

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/01/2017

An albatross chick that hatched on the Otago Peninsula on Saturday is set to become an internet star.

A webcam set up to film the nest in January last year attracted more than a million social media interactions including over 600, 000 Youtube views, as viewers followed the fortunes of the chick Moana.

The newest chick from the nest to parents BK and RBK will now be in the public's gaze, and the Department of Conservation is hopeful its 'Royal cam' following its progress will be just as popular.

"The overwhelming enthusiasm and positivity has allowed us to showcase some of our important albatross conservation work to the world," DOC's threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki said.

The new chick faces a myriad of challenges for the first few months of its life, including weather extremes, reliance on parents for food, as well as threats from pests, but DOC is optimistic.

"We've all got our fingers crossed," Ms Toki said.

The web cam was set up at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head to document the albatross nest and highlight albatross conservation.

"All going well the web cam will film the chick over the next eight months," says Ms Toki.

The chick's parents will now to take turns feeding it for the next five or six weeks.

After that, it'll be left alone by them, except for feeding visits, until it's ready to fly at about eight months.

The sex of the chick is unknown.

Moana fledged the nest in September last year.

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