27 May '11, 5am

Rare white kiwi born in New Zealand

WELLINGTON - THE birth of a rare white kiwi has capped the most successful breeding season since efforts to save the endangered New Zealand bird began at a North Island sanctuary, wildlife authorities say. The male kiwi chick, named Manukura - meaning 'of chiefly status' in the Maori language - hatched on May 1 at the Pukaha sanctuary north of Wellington, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said this week. 'As far as we know, this is the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity,' Pukaha chairman Bob Francis said. Kiwis are normally brown but Mr Francis said birds in the gene pool that Manukura came from had white flecks in their plumage, giving rise to the occasional all-white specimen. He said the bird was not an albino. It was one of 14 chicks hatched at the sanctuary this year, compared with an average of two a year between 2005 and 2010. '(We) were blown away ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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