Celebrate takahē and the Takahē Recovery Programme with us this April

Department of Conservation —  01/04/2021

Welcome to Takahē Awareness Month 2021.  Following 2020’s Takahē Awareness Month (Version Lockdown), we are thrilled that this year we can all head to our local takahē sanctuaries to meet a takahē

Have you met a takahē yet? Kua tūtaki āno koe ki te takahē? 

When you see a takahē, when their iridescent feathers are shining in the sun and you realise just how big they actually are and how pre-historic they seem when they move – you can’t help but feel captivated. 

Takahē pair at Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.
📷: Anja Kohler

Help us celebrate takahē this April and seek out this elusive and enchanting bird at one of the 14 takahē sanctuaries open to the public.  Or if you are feeling adventurous, head out on the Heaphy Track to see if you can tick off a wild takahē sighting in the Gouland Downs area (the second wild population of takahē established in 2018). Not much compares to seeing a takahē in the wild……..

Takahē pair in Gouland Downs with chick.
📷: Toni Hutton

…except seeing a takahē pair in the wild, raising their wild hatched young!

Where can you meet a takahē?

Last year takahē recovery drew very near to the milestone of half of the total takahē population now living in the wild.  The other half are housed across a network of predator controlled sanctuary sites, which are unfortunately too small to hold self-sustaining populations, but play at valuable role in securing and growing the takahē population. This network of sanctuary sites across Aotearoa also provide wonderful opportunities to meet one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and learn more about the mahi involved in growing the takahē population.

For those of you who are too far to encounter these beautiful manu (birds) in person, please enjoy our short film below.

What is Takahē Recovery all about?

Takahē are a taonga (treasure) and their conservation story is something all New Zealanders should be proud of.  From being declared extinct, to their numbers rising with the innovative breeding programme techniques, through to seeing them re-introduced to a second wild site, the Takahē Recovery Programme is world class.  Ngāi Tahu and DOC’s dedicated Takahē Recovery Programme, supported by our National Partner, Fulton Hogan are working hard to return takahē to the wild.  Check out our new infographic packed full of great takahē facts.

Head over to the DOC website or read our previous blog to learn more about the great mahi that is happening to ensure this taonga is never again considered extinct.

What else is happening this Takahē Awareness Month?

Activities for everyone: Explore our Takahē Awareness Month 2021 webpage (https://www.doc.govt.nz/takahe-awareness-month)  and find some fun takahē related activities.

Activities include the Ultimate Takahē Quiz, to ensure you are well across the differences between the endangered flightless takahē and their distantly related cousin the common pūkeko.  Think……it’s the equivalent of mixing up a Canadian as an America or vice versa by mistake – but we have you covered!

Also, keep an eye out for some new family activities to help celebrate takahē over the April school holidays.

Competition time: Would you like to win a free family pass to meet a takahē? Check out our Takahē Awareness Month giveaway competition on Facebook.  Or if you have met a takahē before, encourage your friends and whānau to enter and help grow the connection to takahē across the nation. 

This is our DOC Ranger Catherine Brimecombe delivering a daily takahē feeding tour at Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.
📷: Anja Kohler

What else you can do to support takahē and their return to the wild?

Support takahē by becoming an advocate and share the takahē story. Follow our DOC social media over the month and learn more about who supports takahē recovery and what the Programmes biggest challenges are.  Sign up to the Takahē Recovery Programme newsletter to keep up to date with what is happening in the programme or you could donate or sponsor a takahē

So come on NZ, Kua tūtaki āno koe ki te takahē?  l Have you met a takahē yet?

Find out more about Takahē Awareness Month here.