Kaka chick death

Sad news … attempts to rehabilitate a kākā chick found on a track by DOC staff in Whirinaki forest were unsuccessful.

Initial care was undertaken by Ian Drysdale and his bird rescue team at Whakatane. With the blessing of local iwi Te Runanga O Ngati Whare the bird was taken to Otorohanga Kiwi House for further care with the hope that it could eventually become part of the national captive breeding programme.

Regretfully the chick succumbed to disease in spite of the best efforts of the team. It was found to have a fungal infection (aspergillosis) that it would have picked up before being found by field staff. Aspergillus is common in the environment. Birds catch aspergillus when feeding or sifting through mouldy litter and vegetation – inhaling spores. Young, old and stressed birds are more susceptible. It is not transferrable between birds.

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