Sept 12, 2016: Air New Zealand carried six North Island brown kiwi eggs to a safe new home for hatching as a part of initiative of Conservation Week.
The kiwi eggs were removed from nests in the Rimutaka Forest Park near Wellington by volunteer handlers from the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust before being flown in warmed insulated containers on an Air New Zealand passenger flight from Wellington to Rotorua where they were taken to Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park and placed in an incubator.
The eggs are expected to hatch within the next week to ten days and will be moved to a predator-free environment at Wairakei Golf Course and Sanctuary north of Taupo at around four weeks old.
The North Island brown kiwi will remain there for at least six months until they reach a safe weight to be flown back to Wellington and released into the Rimutaka Forest Park.
Meghan Blair, Air New Zealand manager Sponsorship and Communities, says, “We take immense pride in providing flights for our endangered species such as takahe, kakapo and tuatara and getting them to their destinations safely and naturally these kiwi eggs are some of our most precious cargo.”
Rimutaka Forest Park Trust Kiwi Project Co-ordinator Melody Mclaughlin says the help from Air New Zealand provides another opportunity to further build on the 80-100 birds already in the Rimutakas by protecting the vulnerable eggs and chicks.
Conservation Week runs from 10 to 18 September.