Posted on 07th December 2021 by Media Relations
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Plains-wanderer conservation breeding program has achieved another great breeding result this year with four chicks hatching back in October 2021.
The chicks are all doing well and being cared for by the father. Plains-wanderer males take the lead role in rearing and caring for the chicks once they hatch and in the wild the female would move on to find another breeding male.
“This is the third clutch to hatch for this breeding pair, so it is great to see continued breeding success for this critically endangered species,” said Plains-wanderer Keeper, Mark O’Riordan.
“We have been monitoring their progress via CCTV over the past couple of months and are very happy with their growth and development.”
The Plains-wanderer chicks are set to have their first health check soon where their sex will be determined, and they will be given an identification band and a physical examination.
“The first health check is very important and allows both the veterinary and keeping teams to ensure they are growing and developing well. The chicks are weighed and have their body condition checked as part of the health check,” said Mark.
These chicks are the first to hatch for this breeding season. The Plains-wanderer breeding season runs from approximately September – March depending on the weather.
The Plains-wanderer is a critically endangered bird with an estimated less than 1000 birds remaining in their wild habitats in the hay plains in the Riverina in NSW and the northern plains of Victoria.
Since the program commenced at Taronga Western Plains Zoo five years ago, 18 chicks have been hatched into the program. This latest breeding success caps off a very positive year for this critically endangered bird, which also saw eight birds bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo released back into the wild in the northern plains of Victoria.
The team are continuing to monitor the birds through the remainder of the breeding season and prepare for the next release into the wild in 2022.