ISV Volunteers Sponsor Endangered Kiwi Birds in New Zealand

by alrahmahsolutions on Friday, 7 September 2012

Meet Quake, ISV’s sponsored Kiwi © all pictures used with permission by Kiwi Encounter

On the ISV Adventure Tour, ISV visits the Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park.  Rainbow Springs showcases New Zealand’s native plants and animals and has an emphasis on conservation. A highlight of this working nursery is its hatchery where kiwi (New Zealand’s endangered national bird and icon) are raised.

The kiwi is rapidly declining in numbers on New Zealand’s mainland with the population halving about every 10 years.

A conservation initiative of the Kiwi Encounter that aims to try to slow the decline of the kiwi is to sponsor a kiwi and since 1995 Rainbow Springs have released over 1,000 kiwis into the wild. It costs $50 and whatever extra ISV participants raise, is also donated to the initiative.

So far this year ISV groups have sponsored a kiwi bird named Quake which raised NZD $220, a bird called Custard which raised NZD $249 and another named Damson which raised NZD $270 and is ISV’s largest sponsorship to date. Another recent ISV kiwi sponsorship of NZD $180 is to a bird named Rohlig and is a great donation especially as the group size was smaller than usual!

The new breeding season has not yet commenced so there are no new kiwi’s as yet. ISV have sponsored all the kiwi’s they had up for adoption, so the last ISV group donation of NZD $198 was for TK (Te Kaha) who has an injured break which makes her unable to be released into the wild. They think she is over 40 years old so a very special bird indeed, considering that they only live for 10-15 years in the wild!

A special donation from ISV participants to Kiwi TK (Te Kaha) who suffers from an injured beak and is unable to be released into the wild

Each student that donates receives an email with the kiwi’s profile. Part of Quake’s profile is given below:

Kiwi Chick Update – ‘Quake’

“Kia ora!  My name is Quake, and I was named this as I hatched exactly a year after the devastating Christchurch Earthquake.  The snapshot of me above is when I was just five days old!  Thank you so much for sponsoring me!  You’ve really increased my chances of survival and I can’t wait to get back out into the New Zealand bush!  Here’s a bit about me so far…”

My History as an Egg

My Dad’s name is Matapaua and we are originally from the Coromandel region.  My egg arrived at Kiwi Encounter on the 27th of January and weighed 392.2g. On arrival my egg was in good condition and was warm.  I also moved a lot when I arrived – this is a good sign.  The incubation period of a kiwi egg is 78-80 days.  My egg was estimated to be 50 days old when I arrived at Kiwi Encounter.  I was incubated for 26 days before I hatched.

Well done to our ISV group that has sponsored Kiwi Rohlig

My History as a Chick

I hatched on the 22nd of February with no problems, and I weighed 315g. Once I have learnt to eat artificial food by myself and am growing well, I will be moved into an outdoor run where I will have lots of different burrows to choose from to sleep in during the day.  But I will get the chance to forage amongst leaf litter and soil for live invertebrates, as well as filling my tummy on the supplied artificial food at night. It’s hard to tell if I am a boy or a girl at the moment, so before I am released, one of my feathers will be sent away so I can be sexed by my DNA!  Once I have grown to about 1kg I will be released back into the forest in the Coromandel region……

Thank you to all ISV participants who support this fantastic initiative!

For more information on ISV NZ’s Adventure Tour, please visit our website www.isvolunteers.org today!

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