New Zealand's northernmost takahē chick!

Last Updated : 14 Dec 2016
Tahake Chick
Sharon Kast

The arrival of a little one is always a special occasion but the latest addition at Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary (TOS) has given staff an extra reason to celebrate.

Two years after ten takahē were released, the sanctuary is thrilled to welcome their first hatchling.

A delighted Matt Maitland, Auckland Council’s Senior Ranger Open Sanctuaries, credits this significant moment to the strong bonds formed between council and community partners since the opening of TOS 14 years ago.

“The tireless involvement of the local community through Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary Society Inc (TOSSI) who have not only raised the necessary funds to bring the takahē here but have been proactive in maintaining and developing a safe and suitable habitat. They have been working with Auckland Council, DOC’s takahē recovery programme and Ngāti Manuhiri. Together we have met one of our core objectives of contributing to the national flock of takahē.

The birds were considered extinct until they were rediscovered by chance in 1948.

Initiatives such as the Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary give New Zealanders a rare opportunity to help resurrect one of the country’s most critically endangered birds for future generations.

Bird numbers topped 300 at their annual October census for the first time since their rediscovery following two excellent breeding seasons at secure and wild sites. This chick will be included in the official population count next October if it prospers.

While the chick has a long way to go, volunteers and staff are pleased with its progress, and the possibilities it holds for takahē conservation.

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