Introduction

It has been a busy couple of months for the kākāpō recovery team. Here is an update of what has been happening.

Date:  10 February 2009

Of the 38 breeding-age females on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, 19 females have mated.

There are now five managed nests and 16 eggs laid. Of those eggs, five have been confirmed as being fertile.

This breeding season is expected to be a big breeding season with up to 40 chicks being predicted.
Kākāpō eggs in nest

Mating is still occurring on the island and is expected to continue until the end of February.

Sperm from Richard Henry has been used to artificially inseminate a female kākāpō in the hope of increasing the genetic diversity of the population. Richard Henry is the only surviving kākāpō from Fiordland making his genes incredible valuable. The sperm was of very poor quality, but the team took what might be the last chance to attempt this with his sperm.

In sad news, Lisa’s egg failed to hatch. Lisa was the first female to nest and produce eggs. Two of her three eggs were fertile, one egg died very early, but the second died just before it was due to hatch. The egg got off to a shaky start when Lisa had an encounter with a petrel in the nest, it is unknown whether this had an impact on the egg or not.

A number of volunteer nest minders are now on the island. They keep a nightly vigil, camping near the nests to ensure the female incubates properly.

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