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Pukaha Mt Bruce celebrates kiwi milestone

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/03/2017

The arrival of the latest kiwi chick at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre marks a milestone for the captive-breeding sanctuary in Wairarapa.

It is the 100th to be hatched since the centre began raising kiwi using the Operation Nest Egg technique in 2005.

Conservation manager Todd Jenkinson says the healthy North Island brown kiwi chick hatched earlier than the expected time frame of the next three weeks.

He and lead kiwi ranger Jess Flamy went to Pukaha reserve last Thursday to retrieve two eggs from Kakama, a monitored male living in the wild.

The second egg is expected to hatch in early April.

Mr Jenkinson says the century milestone is significant and a source of celebration for the centre, which is 30km north of Masterton.

The Operation Nest Egg process involves eggs being retrieved from the wild and the birds hatching in protected areas with the help of staff.

He says the survival rate of these kiwi is 65 per cent, compared with 5 per cent if they hatch in the wild.

When the birds are big enough to fend for themselves, they are returned to the wild at the reserve.

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