Governed by: Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust
Maungatautari Ecological Island is known as a mainland island. It's the largest conservation commitment by a charitable conservation group in New Zealand. Over 16 million dollars were raised for the building of a 47 km predator-proof fence that protects species within the mountain's forest and grassland areas.
Matariki and Hauhunga were the first pair of takahē transferred to Maungatautari in June 2006. The resident pair in the wetland area is now Nancy and Ngutu Whero. The hatching of the first takahē chick at Maungatautari in 2009 was a cause for huge celebration.
Maungatautari Ecological Island was the first mainland island site to welcome takahē. This was a logical step for Takahē Recovery – predator-free islands were reaching their takahē carrying capacity and predator-proof fences seemed to have potential for keeping takahē safe on the mainland. It also provided the opportunity for research into what habitat takahē preferred and the suitability of introducing the South Island takahē to the North Island mainland.
Today the wetland area is managed to ensure there is adequate habitat for the current breeding pair and this has been a very successful breeding site. A second enclosure measuring 3ha in size was built on the main mountain in 2017. This is called ‘Cooper’s’ and has housed Puiaki and Brodie since August 2017. They have produced juveniles every year since.
Maungatautari welcomes visitors all year. There is an excellent chance of seeing takahē during a guided walk of the Tautari Wetlands and Tuatarium.