Construction of the captive breeding centre,which encompasses an
area of about 0.5 ha,began in late 1979 and was completed in May,
1980. The complex contains breeding pens for the Woodhen, a
laboratory and incubation room.

Two New Zealand aviculturalists, Glenn Fraser and Tony Caley, both
of whom have extensive experience in the captive breeding of rails,
and other species of endangered birds,were employed to take charge
of the centre,rear the captive bred birds and prepare selected birds
for release into the wild.

The captive breeding programme began in May,1980 when three pairs
of adult woodhen were moved by helicopter from Mt.Gower to the
lowland breeding pens. The birds settled readily into their new
environment and within a short time all three pairs were breeding. The
eggs were incubated by the female birds for two weeks and placed in
an incubator for the last week. During the first five months of operation
ten Woodhen chicks were successfully hatched.
Watch for the  Lord Howe Island
Woodhen , a flightless bird species
rescued from the brink of extinction by
the world’s first successful captive
breeding program.