Makeshift egg repairs help survival of rare parrot

Wellington, March 3: Tape and a bit of glue have helped save the life of a hatching chick of one of the world’s rarest birds, New Zealand conservation officials said Monday.

Department of Conservation (DOC) officials were dismayed last week when they found a crushed egg belonging to a female kakapo, the critically endangered New Zealand parrot, on Whenua Hou or Codfish Island, off the bottom of the country’s South Island.

They feared the chick would not survive but painstaking repairs using tape and glue ensured the chick stayed safe till it hatched Friday, making it the first kakapo chick born since 2011, DOC kakapo recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said in a statement.

“We only have five viable eggs on Whenua Hou and this one was the first laid. It was touch and go for a few days but with the special care and expertise of our team the dedication has paid off,” Xinhua quoted her as saying.

The chick, named Lisa One, was in an incubator and receiving round-the-clock attention, including regular feeding, weighing and checks, but its sex would not be determined for several weeks.

The other four eggs are also in incubator care and are expected to hatch over the next few weeks.

Lisa One’s arrival has increased the total kakapo population to 125.

The world’s heaviest parrot, the kakapo is flightless, nocturnal and can live for decades, but its numbers have been decimated by hunting, habitat loss and predators such as rats, cats and stoats.

IANS