Last woodhens released

'State's largest conservation act' rescues endangered island bird.

Earlier this week, Peter Hannam of The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the latest success of the Woodhen rehabilitation programme.

Conservation workers have released the last of captured Lord Howe Island woodhens back to lowlands they once roamed freely in what the Berejiklian government calls "the largest single conservation act" in NSW history.

Woodhens represent an iconic example of conservation on Lord Howe Island. Their story has been documented in many ways – in books, videos and on-line. We have a permanent display at the Museum, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their incredible return from the brink of extinction.

The final batch of 159 of the endangered flightless birds are being released on the island, following the successful eradication of rats and other invasive predators.

Leslie Williams, Nationals member for Port Macquarie, said different groups including Taronga Zoo had cared for the animals over nine months while they eradicated rodents - the largest success program on an inhabited island.

A similar article appeared a few days later, with more details about the release and the success of the rodent eradication programme.

You can read the articles online, here and here.

Photo: Hank Bower (left) and Michael Shields, two of the wildlife experts involved in the release of threatened Lord Howe Island woodhen. (courtesy Jack Shick)

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