The single fledgling was produced by parents raised from eggs collected in the wild, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“So this is the first offspring ever produced in captivity. It was parent-reared — raised completely by its mother, without any human intervention,” Jennifer Pribble of San Diego Zoo Global said in a statement. “The parents are a 3-year-old male and 2-year-old female.”
San Diego Zoo Global is the zoo’s conservation arm, active around the world to save threatened species. It is also taking part in an effort to breed another native Hawaiian bird, a crow called the ‘alala.
The ‘akikiki, also known as the Kaua’i creeper, has seen a drop in population over the past 15 years and fewer than 500 birds are believed to exist in the wild, Kaua’i Forest Bird Recovery Project coordinator Lisa Crampton said in a statement. The bird is small, a little over 5 inches long, and has gray feathers with white patches on the underside.
The Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program is a collaboration of the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service- Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office and San Diego Zoo Global.
Since 2015, ‘akikiki eggs have been collected to breed a captive population that can provide extra security for the species. ‘Akikiki lay more eggs to replace those taken, so there is no loss to the wild population.
“After collecting the first ‘akikiki eggs and hand-raising the chicks, it is exciting to have confirmation that our artificial incubation and hand-rearing techniques are successful, with this milestone of ‘akikiki reproducing in captivity,” Jeremy Hodges, a research coordinator on the project, said in a statement.
–City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: