Wellington Zoo celebrated an important milestone today
– marking 100 years of conservation work with native animals. On this day in 1912, the Wellington
Zoological Society called for greater protection for Kiwi and Tuatara in New Zealand -
meaning Wellington Zoo has been caring for Kiwi and Tuatara before Parliament
House was built!
Since then, we have been working for these iconic
native species – contributing to national breeding programmes for advocacy, as
insurance populations held in human care, as well as breeding for
The history of Wellington Zoo’s involvement with Kiwi
and Tuatara is rich and varied. In 1977,
we saw the first Kiwi breeding in Zoo after a mated pair of Kiwi was donated by
Operation Nest Egg began in 1994, with 26 eggs incubated at Department
of Conservation and Wellington Zoo. The
chicks were reared at Wellington Zoo, WhangareiMuseum, Kiwi House, and at the KaitaiaNocturnalPark.
In 2007, 50 Brothers Island Tuatara were released on Long Island. Since
2010, 17 Tuatara have been produced at Wellington Zoo – most recently, five
Tuatara that are now on display at The Roost Te Pae Manu.
The opening of The Nest Te Kōhanga in 2009 allowed us
to step up our commitment to native wildlife even further. In 2011 alone, we treated more than 1000
native wildlife cases that came from Department of Conservation, SPCA, and the
wider community who recognise us as the centre for native veterinary care in
Wellington Zoo has been part of the wider city habitat for 106 years. On
any given day, you will find Fantail, NZ Falcon, Kingfisher, Tui and Kākā
roaming freely within the grounds of the Zoo – something that we are very proud
of, and is a great symbol of how we see our selves in terms of conservation – a
healthy micro habitat as part of a wider eco-system that is our beautiful city.
Zoos have an extremely important role in conservation,
and we work hard to provide our visitors with tangible links to the work being
done both in the Zoo and in the field.
We aim to encourage our visitors to find their personal connection with
nature so that they too can share our passion for conservation.
To learn more about our Kiwi and Tuatara, you can
visit the Twilight Te Ao Māhina at the Zoo and make your own personal
connection with our native icons.
You can read our original call to