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Cahows reach landmark number of nesting pairs

Bermuda’s population of cahows has reached a landmark number of 100 nesting pairs a first since its rediscovery in 1951.

The Department of Conservation Services announced the milestone today.

“This achievement is a fitting milestone to celebrate Bermuda’s 400th anniversary of colonisation,” said Public Works Minister Michael Weeks. “I offer my congratulations to all those who have dedicated their lives to protecting the Cahow ensuring it not only survives, but thrives.”

The ground-burrowing cahow once thrived in Bermuda but was decimated by introduced predators such as rats, pigs, dogs and cats, and hunting by the early settlers.

The bird disappeared from historic records and were thought to have become extinct until 1951 when a population of 18 nesting pairs was rediscovered.

Said a Government spokesman: “For the last 50 years the Cahow Recovery Programme has been one of Bermuda’s priority protected species projects. Now managed by the Terrestrial Conservation Section of the Department of Conservation Services, the team works hard to control predators, build artificial nest burrows, and carry out research to better understand the cahow and enable it to recover. With this assistance the cahow continues to move towards becoming a self sustaining population. Last year the cahow increased to 98 nesting pairs producing a record 56 fledged chicks. The 100 nesting pair mark was met this year illustrating that the species continues to move from strength to strength.”

Useful website: www.conservation.bm.

A cahow chick

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Published March 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm (Updated March 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm)

Cahows reach landmark number of nesting pairs

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