There was a slow start to the New Zealand shore plover/tuturuatu breeding season, most likely due to the severe winter. The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust said three out of four NZ shore plover pairs are breeding. The fourth pair had not bred last spring, due to a grumpy male.
The first clutches had been lifted for artificial incubation, with eight chicks hatched. Two second clutches have been lifted, with another due shortly. The third clutches will be left with the pairs to rear.
Chicks will be directly transferred to offshore island holding aviaries, rather than to Trust aviaries, a new move to minimise dispersal, due to protect hatch site. Department of Conservation monitoring on Waikawa/Portland Island recently reported five pairs on eggs and one pair with a chick.
Photographed (left), a recently hatched critically endangered shore plover chick as it checks out its brooder box surrounds on the hunt for tasty mealworms. Shore plover are one of New Zealand’s very rarest of birds and are one of the world’s most threatened waders. They continue to be on the brink and captive breeding efforts are essential in creating and maintaining translocated offshore island populations.”