There are plenty of reasons to shellabrate at Zoos SA with species across both sites welcoming an influx of eggciting eggs!
At Adelaide Zoo, it has been a record laying year for Little Penguin, with seven chicks hatching over the last five months.
Just in time for Penguin Awareness Day today, three of the newest chicks, 12-week-old Tommy, Piper and 9-week-old Flounder, took their first dip in the Penguin pool.
Acting Senior Keeper of Natives, Amelia Kennett, said the trio were naturals.
“These three Little Penguins were hand-raised by keepers from five weeks old and they have grown up to be such confident chicks,” she said.
“They love to swim and took to the water straight away. We’ve had such an amazing season this year – it’s the biggest on record with seven little ones hatched!
“In fact, Adelaide Zoo has had an amazing summer welcoming to two critically endangered species – eight Orange-bellied Parrots and three critically-endangered Regent Honeyeaters.
“It has been wonderful to see such endangered native bird species thriving at Adelaide Zoo and be part of their ongoing conservation efforts.”
At Monarto Safari Park, the team has welcomed four endangered Plains Wanderer chicks, who recently had their first health check receiving an eggcellent report from the veterinary team.
Assistant Curator of Natives, Louise Stockburger, said the nine-week-old chicks were in good health and were sexed as one female and three males.
“We are so thrilled to have four healthy Plains Wanderer chicks hatch at Monarto Safari Park,” she said.
“They have been named Violet, Crumble, Flea and Sneak and will be amazing ambassadors for their species.
“Without conservation breeding programs like this, the future for the Plains Wanderer would be bleak. At present there are thought to be less than 1,000 adult birds remaining in the wild.”
Finally across both sites, 19 tiny Western Swamp Tortoise eggs have been laid, an amazing result for one of Australia’s most endangered reptile.
Wild Western Swamp Tortoise populations are currently only found in two small swamp reserves in Western Australia, but they face habitat loss and predation from introduced species like foxes, cats, dogs and pigs.
Sadly, climate change has also added further pressure to the species, with declining winter and spring rainfall wreaking havoc on their swamp habitats.
The eggs will be incubated, checked for viability, and monitored at Adelaide Zoo.
Alongside our partners Parks and Wildlife WA and Perth Zoo, Zoos SA works with the Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Team to ensure a genetically viable population is released back into the wild.
For more information about Zoos SA’s conservation programs, please visit zoossa.com.au.