Power in Numbers
The New York Times reports on a multi-organisation effort to save NZ’s national symbol from extinction. Founded in 1994, Operation Nest Egg is a combined effort by the Department of Conservation’s Kiwi Recovery Program, non-profit group Save the Kiwi, and the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch. Together they have perfected the process of taking kiwi eggs from the wild, incubating and hatching them in a predator-free environment, and returning the birds to their original location once they are large enough to defend themselves. Operation Nest Egg has already had a profound effect on kiwi populations. “Because the rates of decline are relatively low at 2 to 5 percent, you don’t have to add many birds back into the population to make it beak even,” says Save the Kiwi trustee John McLennan. Operation Nest Egg expects to hatch its one thousandth kiwi chick in early 2008.