8 Sep 2014

Mariana crow released on Rota Island 'thriving'

9:17 am on 8 September 2014

A researcher says two critically endangered Mariana crows released into the wild in the Northern Marianas are thriving, almost a year after their release.

Researchers from the University of Washington's Rota Avian Behavioral Ecology Program raised the two birds and released them eight months ago on the island of Rota.

The programme's captive care coordinator, Phillip Hannon, says the birds are doing well in the wild.

"The benchmark that we set was generally that after two months if they are on their own and can find food and sustain themselves without supplemental feeding then it will be considered a success. We check their status to make sure they are alive, every day, and they are both thriving really."

Mr Hannon says researchers are currently raising two more crows, which will also be released once they are ready to fend for themselves.

There are believed to be only 130 Mariana crows left on the island of Rota.