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MEDIA RELEASE: Titipounamu/rifleman chicks the size of bumblebees hatched on Te Ahumairangi Hill

The titipounamu/rifleman pair living on Te Ahumairangi Hill in Wellington have become proud parents.

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Wellington - 13 October 2021: The titipounamu/rifleman pair living on Te Ahumairangi Hill in Wellington have become proud parents. 

With their chicks, currently the size of a bumblebees, the pair of New Zealand’s tiniest birds are making history. 

When the pair were first spotted in August, 3km away from Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne, it was thought to be the first sighting of their species in that area in more than 100 years.  

Rifleman Interview with Danielle Shanahan

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Last week, it was announced that the planned translocation of 80 tītipounamu / rifleman into the sanctuary in March 2017, followed by another 80 into Otari-Wilton's Bush in 2018 had been postponed due to ZEALANDIA having just learned that population in the Wainuiomata source site (the Wainuiomata / Orongorongo Key Native Ecosystem area) are considerably lower than previously thought.

We asked Dr. Danielle Shanahan, ZEALANDIA’s Conservation Manager, for some background on the postponement and about the next steps in bringing these iconic species into the sanctuary.

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