Guam – The Guam Department of Agriculture released 16 Ko’Ko’ birds on Cocos Island Tuesday.
The endangered birds were raised in captivity and turned lose on the southern island in attempts to create a wild population of the Ko’Ko’s.
In January of 2009 Guam Department of Agriculture Parks and Rec the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Cocos island resort entered into an agreement to create a safe habitat for the Ko’Ko’ bird.
The Ko’Ko’ or Guam rail is the island’s territorial bird. It is on the endangered species list and is only found on the island of Guam.
In the mid-80’s the last of the Ko’Ko were collected from the wild to protect the species from the brown tree snake. They have been bred in captivity since. Dept. of Agriculture biologist Diane Vice explains how they will track the progress of the released Ko’Ko’.
“They’ll be radioed and we’ll follow them to find out their nest preferences nesting success and they’re survival rates.” Coco’s island is snake free so biologists hope that it will present an opportunity for Guam residents and visitors to once again be able to see the Ko’ Ko’ bird in the wild.