Thursday, April 13, 2006

ENV: More Cahows

A rare bird becomes less rare...36 Cahow chicks hatch

The future for Bermuda’s national bird has never been brighter after 36 new Cahow chicks hatched at Nonsuch Island.

The bird, which has become a powerful symbol of hope, was thought extinct for over 500 years.
Its rediscovery in 1951 sparked a long-running conservation project to restore the species.

Jeremy Madeiros, Government conservation officer, said there were now 75 nesting pairs at the island — more than ever before.

“It’s very satisfying,” he said.

“This is a species that is still on the knife-edge of extinction. It is encouraging to see how many chicks have hatched because they are the future of the entire species.

“It is sobering to realize that we have the fate of this species in our hands.”

The cahow, the only seabird that is unique to Bermuda, spends almost its entire life at sea, returning to the island to hatch a single egg each year.

“You could say that they are like Bermudians in that they are very attached to their piece of the rock.

“They are a hardy species and they continue to surprise a lot of people who have written them off in the past.

“Their future has never been better in 400 years.”


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