The takahē is a relic from a time when gigantic moa roamed the forests and grasslands, and Haast eagles with a four metre wingspan hunted them.
Today we celebrate their rediscovery with a tribute to the takahē!
Dr Geoffrey Orbell rediscovers the takahē
Takahē were thought to be extinct but Dr Geoffrey Orbell suspected that they had survived. After following footprints, he rediscovered the species on 20 November 1948 in a remote valley of the Murchison Mountains near Lake Te Anau.
Utterly adorable takahē chicks
Conservation efforts over the past 60 years have helped bring takahē back from the brink of extinction. Today the takahē population is over 300 birds thanks to the hard work of the Takahē Recovery Programme and the support of many dedicated individuals and organisations.
The friendly takahē at Zealandia
One of the best places to meet a takahē is at a display site. These are the sites which care for older or infertile birds or those who have bred a little too well and are now ‘over represented ‘in the takahē population.
The call of the takahē
The main calls of takahē are a loud shriek, a quiet hooting contact call, and a muted boom indicating alarm.
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Murchison Mountains release
The Murchison Mountains, the last refuge of takahē in the wild, is the only recovery site in the Takahē Recovery Programme. The recovery site is a large area containing the necessities for a natural life.
Volunteer with Takahē Recovery
Looking after takahē in residence at the Burwood Takahē Centre takes a lot of work, and the rangers are often run off their feet.
If you are interested in dedicating a week or more at a time to help care for takahē at the Burwood Takahē Centre contact the Takahē Recovery Programme.
It was announced in July that leading civil engineering company Fulton Hogan will join the fight to save takahē. As part of this announcement, Newshub tracked down Joan Watson, 90, in Invercargill who was in the party that re-discovered the takahē in Fiordland’s Murchison mountains in 1948. Listen to her amazing recount of that day.