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Archive for the ‘Mount Bruce’ Category

Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre is reaping the financial rewards of having little white kiwi Manukura within its walls, with more than 1000 visitors paying to see him since he began public viewings only a month ago.

The kiwi, now two months old, attracted huge national and international attention when he was born at the centre from two North Island brown kiwi on May 1.

He was introduced to the world on May 26 and in the following two weeks was visited by 700 people.

His pure white colouring was the result of a recessive gene and he was believed to be the first all-white kiwi born in captivity. His parents were taken from Little Barrier Island, where there were a few other white kiwi and several with white patches.

Manukura could be viewed at the centre on Sundays only because of his nocturnal nature.

Field centre supervisor at Pukaha Mt Bruce, Kathy Houkamau, said the interest in Manukura had been incredible, with visitor numbers for June up 25 per cent from last year, but she could not put a figure on the financial impact.

“He’s pretty much tipped our world on its ear, it’s had a huge impact,” she said.

“It is helping with our revenue at a time of the year when we don’t expect it; it helps us to pay the bills.”

Winter was usually quiet at the centre, but the combination of a star attraction and mild weather had brought people to the centre in their droves.

People were learning more about kiwi and the challenges they faced through their experience with Manukura and were inspired to learn more.

Manukura had his own Facebook page with more than 1000 fans already, and he was generating a lot of interest off-shore.

One foreign visitor even wanted to buy Manukura as a pet for his mother – a request that was politely declined.

Many people inquired about whether or not another white kiwi could be born if the same parents were to breed again.

Ms Houkamau said the chances were quite slim.

“There is a good chance they will breed again,” she said. “There was no way we could’ve ever planned him [to be all white].”

 

story on stuff.co.nz

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Thursday, 2 June 2011, 12:13 pm
Press Release: Pukaha Mount Bruce

White kiwi chick

Manukura, the white kiwi chick hatched on 1 May at Pukaha Mount Bruce, yesterday got its first feel for the outside world when it graduated from the centre’s kiwi house nursery to an outdoor enclosure in the forest reserve.

After reaching its required weight and all the expected milestones, including eating on its own, the chick was moved to a predator-proof enclosure in the Pukaha native reserve where 12 other chicks have been raised this season.

Manukura was the 13th of 14 kiwi chicks hatched at the National Wildlife Centre this breeding season, the most successful there ever. The 14thchick remains will remain in the kiwi house nursery for the next week.

Thought to be the first white kiwi chick hatched in captivity, Manukura will remain in the outdoor enclosure for the next 4-6 months subject to its behaviour and welfare. Visitors to the centre will be able to see the special kiwi each Sunday at 2pm after he has been weighed by Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers.

When the fertile egg was retrieved from the Pukaha native forest and brought into captivity with others to be incubated and hatched, DoC staff at the national wildlife centre had no inkling as to what was inside. When he saw the white chick hatch, captive breeding ranger Darren Page said his first thought was “oh this one’s going to create a stir.”

Pukaha Mount Bruce manager Kathy Houkamau said staff excitement and global interest in Manukura had been matched by that of visitors on seeing the white chick. “We have had good crowds through over the past week and people have been genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to see it. People see it as a sign of good things.”

A Facebook page to track Manukura’s progress has been set up by the centre.

Background information and photos on scoop.co.nz

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Press Release: Pukaha

We are delighted to let you be the first to know of the hatching of a white kiwi chick at Pukaha. As far as we know this is the first hatched in captivity and definitely the first hatched at Pukaha. This exciting event marks the end of the most successful kiwi breeding season in Pukaha’s history with a total of 14 chicks hatched.

The all-white chick is not an albino but the rare offspring off kiwi that were transferred from Little Barrier Island to Pukaha in May last year. The intention of the transfer was to increase the kiwi gene pool and grow the population in the long-term so we are delighted with this great result. The chick is a North Island Brown kiwi that is white.

Local iwi and Pukaha Mount Bruce partner, Rangitane o Wairarapa, has named the chick Manukura which means chiefly status. Rangitane chief executive and Pukaha board member, Jason Kerehi, said tribal elders saw the white chick as a tohu or a sign of new beginnings.

“Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is. While we are celebrating all 14 kiwi hatched this year, Manukura is a very special gift.”

Your chance to see Manukura in our kiwi house

Manukura will be in the kiwi nursery until the end of May where you may view it being weighed daily at 2.00pm. It will remain in captivity with our other chicks for at least four to six months and there will be the opportunity to for regular viewings while it is being cared for. The health and safety of this very special chick is our priority.

Please feel free to phone ahead to make sure it is available. We would love to see you.

www.pukaha.org.nz

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Scoop: Rare bats landing at Auckland Zoo

click on the Image by Peter Schouten for more on the short-tailed bat

The Department of Conservation (DOC), Auckland Zoo, and iwi, Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitane o Wairarapa, are hopeful that the bats will successfully breed to assist the recovery plan for this genetically unique group. The Waiohine Valley population, discovered in the late 1990s, is the only known short-tailed bat population living in the southern North Island, and currently numbers just 200.

Aged between two and three years, the 12 zoo-bound bats have been part of the most ambitious conservation project ever undertaken anywhere in the world for native bats. During 2005 and 2006, this involved DOC taking pregnant females from the wild (Waiohine Valley) to the National Wildlife Centre at Pukaha Mount Bruce until they had given birth and weaned their pups. The females were then returned to Waiohine Valley, and the pups taken to Kapiti Island, held in captivity for several months, and then released on the island. full media release

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