Takahe secure near Te Anau
Six takahe¯ breeding pairs now have two new secure territories to raise their chicks in this spring at the Burwood Takahe¯ Centre near Te Anau and Maungatautari Ecological Island near Hamilton.
The Department of Conservation’s senior takahe¯ ranger, Glen Greaves, says the new enclosures are a positive result for the recovery programme in helping support the growing takahe¯ population.
‘‘The enclosure expansion has been a long time in the planning, and the final touches were being made by the team this month with the birds destined for Kahurangi National Park unexpectedly staying on to spend the breeding season at Burwood,’’ he said.
‘‘With last year’s juveniles coming in behind also needing space, the increased holding capacity has put us in a good place to deal with this change of plan.’’
Secure predator-controlled breeding territories are crucial to the species’ survival, giving vulnerable chicks a chance to mature. Across the two new secure enclosures, there will be capacity for up to 50 birds.
The Burwood Takahe¯ Centre, the hub of the breeding programme, is the most productive of all the takahe¯ breeding sites.
At nearly 135ha, the new Burwood enclosure nearly doubles the area of the original, built in 1987.
‘‘This pen has been a critical part of the programme for 30 years, not only as a breeding site, but also in providing habitat that is a perfect training ground for juveniles before being released in wild sites, such as the Murchison Mountains.’’
Over 200 juveniles have been successfully raised in the old enclosure.
At Maungatautari, the brand new Coopers Pen, enclosing 3ha of known successful takahe¯ breeding habitat located on the mountain, was two years in the making and is now home to birds Brodie and Puiaki.
Both new enclosures were made possible through support from Mitre 10, official supplier to the Takahe¯ Recovery Programme and over 1000 volunteer hours.
‘‘Being based in Te Anau, we have a great working relationship with our local Mitre 10 team.
‘‘They are passionate about takahe¯ and are always ready to help us problem solve the unique challenges we face at Burwood.
‘‘We are also very fortunate to have such great support from volunteers,’’ Greaves said.
A young sub adult takahe bred at the Burwood Centre.