July 18, 2019

New Zealand: Rare white Kiwi hatched

Maybe white isn't such a good colour for a nocturnal bird trying not to be seen by predators.

New Zealand’s Mount Bruce wildlife centre has announced that a rare white Kiwi chick has been hatched. The chick named Manukura is the only white chick amongst this years brood of 14 bred in captivity.

Mount Bruce Board Chairman Bob Francis said “As far as we know, this is the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity.” White Kiwis are a genetic white variant and not albino. Most Kiwi are dark brown in colour.

Manukura, whose name means “of chiefly status” in the Maori language was hatched on May 1, and is the highlight of the most successful breeding season since kiwi were reintroduced into the wild there in 2003, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

The Kiwi bird is New Zealands national symbol, but introduced pests attacking the flightless bird’s youngand egss have seen its numbers drop to endangered levels.

Breeding programmes like that at the Mount Bruce Centre, are helping to reintroduce Kiwi to the wild on New Zealand islands that are pest free.