Last week in the Tongariro forest, a lone egg was discovered by a local Department of Conservation kiwi ranger and delivered to the Rainbow Spring’s Kiwi Encounter for hatching.
The ranger came across the egg while changing a transmitter on a male kiwi. He was worried that if the egg was left in the wild, the male would abandon it and the incubation would not be complete.
Kiwi Encounter Husbandry Manager Clair Travers stated the reason for this was due to the Kiwi sometimes becoming too scared to return to the site where the egg is situated,”so the best option in this instance, was to bring the egg to Kiwi Encounter to hatch.”
The late arrival is estimated to be at 40 days of incubation, which a development period of five weeks remaining. The father’s name is Max and this is his 33rd egg.
Egg number 33 has finished off what has been a long hatching season, beginning on September 5 and stretching out until June.
The Encounter has hatched a total of 107 eggs this season with another two still in incubation and one due to hatch any day. The conservation efforts are integral to the survival of the species, who face an horrifically low survival rate of only 5% in the wild.
With the help of Rainbow Springs, the native Kiwi can hope to enjoy a long a fruitful life, being released back into the wild once they reach adulthood, to give them the greatest opportunity at survival.