28 May 2013

'Infertile' kiwi produce chick

8:01 am on 28 May 2013

Rangers helping protect endangered rowi kiwi say they have found a chick on an island where the birds were thought to be infertile.

Seven kiwi pairs were moved from the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary to Blumine Island in Marlborough Sounds three years ago.

The move was an attempt to see whether the habitat change would improve the birds' fertility, which it did, when two of the kiwi switched partners.

Their chick was hatched three months ago, the first rowi kiwi to be born in the wild for decades.

Department of Conservation ranger Iain Graham says the young chick cannot stay on Blumine Island in case of inbreeding.

The youngster will be taken to Mana Island off the coast of Kapiti next month, which Mr Graham says will give it a chance to find a partner among the 21 juvenile kiwi there.