© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Takahē centres on track for record breeding season

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  DOC

Takahē numbers are on the rise as the Department of Conservation gets more of the rare birds to breed.

DOC runs 19 sanctuaries for Takahē, but most are nearing capacity as the number of successfully breeding pairs grows.  

The Burwood Takahē Centre, in Southland, has 300 birds, 23 of which were scheduled to move to Kahurangi National Forest early last month to make room and boost populations in the wild. 

However, because of a a mild winter the Takahē mated early and cannot be moved until next year.

DOC Takahē Operations Manager Deidre Vercoe said the Takahē team put in a big effort to prepare for the transfer, but unfortunately the birds had other things on their minds.

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Kahurangi National park was chosen for the relocation,  not only because of it's lack of predators and sustainable food and water sources but because one of the country's Great Walks runs through the middle.

Senior Takahē Ranger Glen Greaves said now that the species was doing well in sanctuaries, the next move was re-establishing the birds to places they once existed.

"I know from experience that seeing Takahe in their natural habitat is a really speical thing, something everyone should get to experience," Greaves said.

 

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DOC staff prepare to release takahē in the Murchison mountains. DOC

DOC has now built two new territories at the Southland sanctuary to house birds.

Greaves said the enclosures had been planned for a while but construction finally started as soon as the relocation fell through.

At nearly 135 hectares, the centre was double the size of the original built in the 80s.