Motutapu Restoration Trust saddened at loss of takahē

Friday August 21, 2015

Volunteers who belong to the Motutapu Restoration Trust (MRT) are devastated by the deaths of four takahē on the island.

“Over the last 20 years thousands of Aucklanders have put a lot of time to help us create habitats for takahē and the other threatened native birds released on the island since it was declared pest-free in 2011,” says MRT deputy chair Rick Braddock, who manages the farm on Motutapu. “I am sure they, DOC staff who work with the takahē, iwi, and our other partners on the island will share our deep distress at this loss.”

“We have become friends with these birds. We know them because we see them on the island every day. They’ve become part of our lives and we’re deeply saddened by their loss.”

Mr Braddock says the pūkeko cull was necesssary because they pose a real threat to the eggs and chicks of takahē, pateke, shore plover and the other native birds released on Motutapu.”  

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A takahe family on Motutapu

“They’re also a real problem with our planting programe to expand the native forest on Motutapu. The pūkeko rip the native tree seedlings from the ground virtually the day after our volunteers have planted them.”

“What’s happened is a tragic mistake. But we’re angry these birds have been shot after the shooters were instructed to shoot pūkeko on the wing, having been told that takahē can’t fly.”

“It’s up to the DOC investigation to find out how that happened and what action is taken.”  

“We see these deaths as a setback. But takahē have had many setbacks since they were rediscovered in Fiordland in 1948. We’ll get over this and move forward.”

“There are 300 takahē in the world and it has been a very sucessful breeding season with an additional 40 takahē chicks added to the population.”

“The recovery programme is in good shape and we will all continue our work to secure the survivalof these special birds for future generations.”

“The strength of MRT is that 21 years of work and knowledge has created a robust sanctuary programme for endangered species that will endure this setback.”

Contact: Liz Brooks: 027 290 1610

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