Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: January 21, 2023 1:59 pm
Keepers at Monarto Safari Park are celebrating the hatching of four critically endangered plains wanderer chicks in a huge win for the conservation of this species. Recently the chicks underwent their first health check and received a clean bill of health from veterinary staff.
Assistant Curator of Natives, Louise Stockburger, said the nine-week-old chicks were in good health and were sexed as one female and three males. “We are so thrilled to have four healthy Plains Wanderer chicks hatch at Monarto Safari Park,” she said.
Keeper at the Safari Park have chosen the names Violet, Crumble, Flea and Sneak for the chicks.
In the wild plains wanderers are declining fast as Louise explained, “Without conservation breeding programs like this, the future for the Plains Wanderer would be bleak. At present there are thought to be less than 1,000 adult birds remaining in the wild.”
Plains wanderer are not the only endangered species receiving a boost to their population thanks to the team at Monarto Safari Park. 19 western swamp tortoises have been laid across both Monarto and their sister site, Adelaide Zoo.
The western swamp tortoise is highly endangered with the species surviving on just two reserves in Western Australia. Currently they are threatened by habitat loss and predation from introduced species like foxes, cats, dogs and pigs. Further to this they are being impacted by a decline in winter and spring rainfall in their swamp habitats.
Currently the eggs are being cared for at Adelaide Zoo where they will be incubated and checked for viability.
Zoos SA (operator of Monarto Safari Park) work with partners Parks and Wildlife WA and Perth Zoo as part of the Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Team to ensure a genetically viable population is released back into the wild.
The plains wanderer is considered one of the most evolutionary distinct birds in existence. Their evolution is believed to date back 60 million years and their closest relatives are gulls and shorebirds.
Image: Monarto Safari Park
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