Sharing the love: where are the takahē now?

Author: Phil Marsh, the takahē sanctuary sites ranger with the Department of ConservationDate: June 2023Heading photo credit: Malcolm de Raat

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list but it highlights the contribution that takahē from Tiritiri Matangi continues to have on the programme to increase the population throughout the motu. It also demonstrates the fluidity of the takahē programme.

2009 – Apiata was removed off Tiritiri Matangi and transitioned to the Murchison Mountains. He is still alive there to this day and has produced juveniles with his partner, though the number is unknown. He is a great example of how well takahē from sanctuary sites can transition, provided they receive the necessary training at Burwood Takahē Centre prior to being released in the wild. I’ve seen him in the Murchison Mountains around six times since being involved in the programme and I have a real soft spot for him.

2010 – Wal was moved to Burwood as a breeder from 2012-2021 and raised a number of juveniles (four juveniles in 2018-2020 alone). He was shifted to a privately-owned sanctuary in the South Island in 2021 where he is paired with a new partner to this day.

2013 – After leaving Tiritiri Matangi, Pukekohe spent time at Tāwharanui Regional Park where he was part of a breeding group, although he was never successful at raising a juvenile. Today he is on Mana Island and has successfully paired this season. They produced two chicks, his first to date.

2014 – Jenkins has been at Burwood for a number of years now as a breeding female. Since 2018 she has produced five juveniles.

2016 – Turama was moved from Tiritiri Matangi to Burwood for a number of years as a breeding male. Since 2019 he has produced five juveniles.

2017 – Waimarie transitioned through Burwood, paired up and was then sent to Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin. Last season she produced her first two juveniles, which are being trained for release into recovery sites. This season she produced two more chicks.

2017 – Kahuhura is now paired on Mana Island and has finally produced two chicks this season, his first to date.

Photo Credit: Phil MarshLeft: Jenkins in her new home, she produced one chick this season.Right: Turama, on the left, with juveniles.

2018 – Hana was sent to Mana Island (where she has paired up with an offspring of Turama) and produced her first juvenile last season.

2018 – Mira was sent to Motutapu Island where she was seen with a partner recently. She has no juveniles to date as far as known

2018 – Te Paea transitioned to Burwood and was released in the Murchison Mountains in 2019. A colleague and I saw him in a territory with a partner during the 2020 census, showing that he had settled into the site.

2019 – Te Marino was sent to Cape Sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers and paired with the single male there. They had breeding attempts during the last season but were unsuccessful.

Other incidental takahē related to Tiritiri Matangi: Fyffe (breeding female on Rotoroa Island) is one of Wal’s offspring. She has been a successful breeder the last few seasons. Walter (male on Motutapu Island) is one of Wal’s offspring. Hogan (male at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve) is one of Jenkins’ offspring.

Photo credits: Left Janet PetricevichLeft: Mira on Tiritiri MatangiRight: Te Marino as a juvenile

Takahē Recovery Programme

Burwood Takahē Centre