Critically endangered bird becomes resident at Tawharanui
The takahe – a unique bird, a conservation icon and a survivor.
The takahe, once thought extinct and rediscovered in 1948 in remote Fiordland, New Zealand, remains on the critically endangered list.
A total of ten takahe were moved from Fiordland to the predator free open sanctuary in Tawharanui, near Auckland, in October this year as part of a programme to ensure the survival of this beautiful bird. Late summer 2015 another 10 will be introduced to the existing Tawharanui residents, making this a new safe breeding site to assist in the recovery programme. With captive breeding programmes and the relocation of takahe to offshore islands and mainland sanctuaries the population has increased to 260, however they remain critically endangered
The flightless takahe resembles pukeko on steroids! Stouter and more colourful than the pukeko, with feathers ranging from deep blue through turquoise and olive green makes for a striking bird.
* Flightless, but once common across New Zealand. Almost wiped out by introduced pests, in particular stoats. The takahe is found only in New Zealand.
* They have no ability to fly.
* Wings are useful for courting displays and showing dominance.
* Takahe lay eggs on a raised nest made of grass making the eggs and chicks highly vulnerable to stoats.
* Mating pairs produce one to three eggs each season, of these 80 per cent hatch.
* Both parents incubate the eggs for 30 days and feed the chicks until they are three months old.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist