DOC celebrating as takahe population rises above 300

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The Department of Conservation is celebrating a milestone in the restoration of the takahe population today.

A takahe is released into the wild by, from left, Andy Clark and Jason van de Wetering

A takahe is released into the wild by, from left, Andy Clark and Jason van de Wetering.

Source: Supplied/Department of Conservation

The population has now risen from a low of just 118 birds in 1981 to 300, with 26 birds released into the wild in the last month.

DOC takahe ranger Glen Greaves said in a release that wild birds were much better than captive birds.

"The wild population holds the most valuable birds, in terms of genetics and the learned behaviours that allow them to survive in the mountainous habitat," he said.

"The released birds are all fitted with transmitters, as are some of the resident birds, allowing us to closely track survival over the coming months."

The population of takahe in the Murchison mountains is now doing so well, it is nearing capacity, and the next challenge will be to find another predator-free site for a large population.

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