Kiwi chick released on Motutapu Island

  • 28/10/2017

A rare kiwi chick called Bloomers has been released on Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Bloomers, hatched on September 29 at Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua, was named for its white feathers that resemble a pair of knickers half on.

It's the first chick with such rare markings in almost a decade.

Michelle Impey, executive director of conservation charity Kiwis for kiwi, said the "supply chain" of kiwi was being increased so they could benefit from the existing fenced sanctuaries and predator-free offshore islands.

"While our national kiwi population is estimated to be declining at a rate of 2 percent per year, kiwi numbers are growing in areas where work is being done to manage their habitats," she says.

"Over the next five years we plan on returning 1500 kiwi to these habitats. From that point, we can start relocating the young to create new wild populations," she said.

The strategy is supported by hundreds of conservation volunteers and private landowners around New Zealand who have invested to make their properties predator-free.