Thunderbirds Are Go!

Hi blog. Another news article, and it’s good news again.  Or, at least, some attempt to correct problems brought on by the usual reasons*. I’ve been at least vaguely aware of the rock ptarmigan for years, mostly thanks to an interest in climbing.  Not to mention a Japanese name -raicho (雷鳥) – which literally translates as “thunder bird”.  It also features heavily in souvenir cookies from Nagano, which I would occasionally receive.

A box of raicho no sato cookie-ish snacks.

There is a cut-out rock ptarmigan inside the box.

Anyway, read the article from the Asahi Shimbun. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201506280029

Ptarmigan chick hatched successfully at Toyama zoo from egg collected in wild

June 28, 2015

By YU KOTSUBO/ Staff Writer

A ptarmigan chick was hatched artificially at Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo on June 27, part of an effort to boost the numbers of the protected game bird in Japan, the Environment Ministry announced. The ptarmigan is a “special natural monument” classified on the Environment Ministry’s “Red List” as a species increasingly at risk of extinction. The chick is about 5 to 6 centimeters in length. Zoo officials will carefully observe the chick in raising it because the first two weeks after birth are a period when the birds, a type of grouse, tend to easily fall ill. Earlier in June, 10 eggs were collected from nests on Mount Norikuradake, which straddles Gifu and Nagano prefectures, and where the birds normally live. Five eggs each were delivered to Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo and Ueno Zoo in Tokyo and placed in incubators. According to an Environment Ministry official, confirmation was made by 5 p.m. on June 27 that all five eggs at Ueno Zoo showed signs of the chicks tapping on the shell to break it open. It usually takes about an entire day for a chick to be hatched after it begins tapping on the egg.

A ptarmigan chick born at the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo (Provided by the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo)

A ptarmigan chick born at the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo (Provided by the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo)

Article Ends.

Good luck to the zoos with raising the chicks. *The usual reasons: Unsustainable exploitation and / or habitat destruction.  Also read as “human stupidity”.

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