Takahē Awareness Month

Department of Conservation —  08/04/2019

April is Takahē Awareness Month, when DOC, Ngāi Tahu, our national partner Fulton Hogan, and the wide network of supporters take the opportunity to celebrate the great work of the Takahē Recovery Programme and engage New Zealanders to get out there, see a takahē, and learn about a piece of conservation history.

With around 375 takahē in the population today, takahē have come a long way since being considered extinct over 70 years ago. On top of seeing an average growth rate of 10% each year, the Programme is celebrating a year since we took the first steps towards establishing a second wild takahē population in Kahurangi National Park.

fulton hogan

Fulton Hogan CEO Graeme Johnson and DOC Senior Takahē Ranger Glen Greaves releasing takahē in the Murchison Mountains. Credit: Anna Clare.

Learn about takahē:

For 50 years takahē were thought to be extinct until a party led by Dr Geoffrey Orbell rediscovered takahē in the Fiordland Murchison Mountains in 1948.

Watch the short film ‘Takahē – Return to the Wild’ to follow the journey of takahē from rediscovery to the successes of today’s recovery programme.

See a takahē:

Where Takahē Live

Outside of the wild populations in the  Murchison Mountains and Kahurangi National Park, takahē live at sanctuary sites. With the exception of the Burwood Takahē Centre, Cape Sanctuary, and two privately owned islands, these are all open to the public.

Takahē at public sites are our ambassadors, providing opportunities for you to admire and learn more about these amazing ‘pre-historic’ looking birds.


Kiwi Guardians + Takahē Recovery Collaboration

During Takahē Awareness Month, Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin, Wellington’s Zealandia Ecosanctuary, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre in northern Waiarapa, and Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari near Cambridge, will be offering Toyota Kiwi Guardians the opportunity to get outside and see a takahē for free. Existing Kiwi Guardians will be sent a unique codeword which they can use to receive free entry to these sanctuaries. With a unique codeword provided, Kiwi Guardians can visit any of these sanctuaries and receive free entry. Not a Kiwi Guardian yet? Visit www.kiwiguardians.co.nz to see how you can get involved and receive the codeword when you redeem your first medal.


While visiting one of the Takahē Sanctuaries during Takahē Awareness Month in April, take a photo of a takahē and be in to win a Kiwi Guardians + takahē prize pack! Comment on the Kiwi Guardians Facebook post with an awesome photo of a takahē to enter.

Remember, always keep your distance from takahē at all time to avoid disturbing them and never attempt to touch or feed the birds.

Fullers360 Takahē Photo Competition

To celebrate Takahē Awareness Month, Fullers360 Ferry Service in the Hauraki Gulf, along with Rotoroa Island Trust and Tiritiri Matangi Island Trust, are running a Takahē Photo Competition with visitors to these takahē sanctuaries.

Take a photo of a takahē on Rotoroa or Tiritiri Matangi Island and post it to Facebook. Tag @Fullers360 and you’ll go in the draw to win a family ferry pass and overnight stay on Rotoroa Island OR a family ferry pass and guided walk on Tiritiri Matangi Island. To enter, use the official Takahē frame filter on Facebook and snap a photo of either a takahē or yourself on Rotoroa or Tiritiri Matangi. Tag @Fullers360 on Facebook or submit your photo via the Fullers360 website.

As well as the photo competition, Rotoroa Island will be hosting a free Takahē Walk & Talk on 27th April for visitors to the island.

Tiritiri Matangi will be holding daily takahē talks and feeding at 1:30pm daily and have a number of kid’s activities to do around the visitor centre, including colouring in’s, takahē mask making, and creating the world’s longest takahē poem!

Donate to Takahē Recovery

You can help support the Takahē Recovery Programme in our goal to restore this precious taonga species back to the wild by either sponsoring one of the Kahurangi founder takahē or donating direct to the Recovery Programme.
All donations are administered by our partner the New Zealand National Parks and Conservation Foundation – an independent charitable trust.

One response to Takahē Awareness Month

    Claudia Mason 13/04/2019 at 7:41 pm