Conservationists have discovered two kiwi chicks in Wellington, the first wild births recorded for the bird in the New Zealand capital in over 150 years.
The two new chicks come just a year after the Capital Kiwi Project reintroduced the country’s iconic national bird to the city of around 400,000 people.
Their birth in Makara, a suburb just 25 minutes from Wellington’s city center, takes the local total to 65 North Island brown kiwi.
Another 18 brown kiwi chicks are expected to hatch as part of the Capital Kiwi Project, which hopes to restore a large-scale wild population of kiwi to New Zealand’s capital. The project plans to use transmitters to monitor the two new kiwi chicks as well as any others that hatch.
The flightless birds, which once numbered around 12 million in New Zealand, have seen their population plummet to just 68,000, according to the Save the Kiwi charity. The charity is among approximately 90 Kiwi conservation programs aiming to boost the population.