Four EDGE species chicks hatched at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

NEW CHICKS: One of the new plains-wanderer chicks at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
NEW CHICKS: One of the new plains-wanderer chicks at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has continued its breeding success for the critically endangered plains-wanderer with four chicks hatching from two separate clutches in early December 2020.

"2020 was a really successful year for our plains-wanderer conservation breeding program with four successful clutches hatching a total of 10 chicks for the year," said plains-wanderer keeper Stephanie Sim.

"The chicks that hatched in December are the second generation to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with the mothers of both clutches hatching here in Dubbo just last year in March 2020,

"Plains-wanderers can breed all year round provided the conditions are favourable but generally favours spring and summer as their peak breeding seasons. They will generally hatch 2-4 chicks from up to 5 eggs in a clutch. The birds are fully independent from approximately two months of age,"

Once the chicks are fully grown and independent they will be paired with other unrelated individuals and join the conservation breeding program at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in NSW's Central West.

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There is estimated to be as few as 500 plains-wanderers remaining in the wild, so every chick that hatches is vital to the long term survival of the species.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in partnership with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Saving Our Species program and Zoos around the country are working together to establish and maintain a insurance population against extinction in the wild, as well as to maintain a healthy genetic population that will boost wild populations in managed habitat.

The plains-wanderer is classified as an EDGE species (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered).

The bird also sits are number one on the EDGE list because of its high extinction risk and evolutionary uniqueness.

This story Endangered chicks hatch at Taronga Western Plains Zoo first appeared on Daily Liberal.