Located in the Hauraki Gulf these islands are open to the public.


Takahē are found on six predator free islands including Tiritiri Matangi, Motutapu, and Rotoroa islands. 

Tiritiri Matangi Island

Takahē population: 5
Year introduced: 1991
Governed by: DOC and the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf is one of the most successful community-led conservation projects in the world. Rare native birds and animals have been returned to its predator-free and restored habitats.

Takahē were first introduced to Tiritiri Matangi in 1991 when two boys, Mr Blue and Stormy, were transferred from Maud Island.

Tiritiri Matangi continues to play a critical role for the Recovery Programme. It currently houses 2 breeding pairs of takahē. Generally, each year the takahē population at Tiritiri Matangi produces 2–3 young birds, which are transferred as sub-adults (1–2-year-old birds) to other sites.

The current takahē on the island are:  

  • Anatori and Tussie with Mira (sub-adult hatched 2018), frequently seen by visitors around the lighthouse area.
  • Edge and Turutu with Hana (sub-adult hatched 2018), harder to spot, but normally somewhere on the northern half of the island.

Visit Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi Supporters website for facts about the takahē on the island

Motutapu Island

Takahē population: approximately 18
Year introduced: 2011
Governed by: DOC and Ngāi Tai o Tamaki

Only a half-hour boat journey from downtown Auckland, Motutapu Island is one of the more recently established takahē sanctuaries.

Since 1994 the Motutapu Restoration Trust has been restoring parts of the island in partnership with the Department of Conservation. 

Four takahē were introduced onto Motutapu in August 2011, when the island was declared free of introduced animal pests.The biggest transfer of takahē thus far saw an additional nine takahē moved from the Burwood Takahē Centre to the island in November 2012. All of the birds transferred to Motutapu were young birds so it was good news to hear that some had successfully hatched chicks as early as November 2013.

The swampy areas on Motutapu are the favoured habitat for building nests on the island and everyone is anticipating a good 2017/18 breeding season.

More on visiting Motutapu and the work happening there:

Rotoroa Island

Takahē population: approximately 5
Year introduced: 2015
Governed by: Rotoroa Island Trust and Auckland Zoo

Rotoroa Island is an 82-hectare island located in the Hauraki Gulf, just 75 min by ferry from downtown Auckland and opened to the public in 2011.

Owned by The Salvation Army, the island has been leased to the Rotoroa Island Trust for 100 years and has recently been transformed into a predator-free wildlife sanctuary.

Closed to the public for nearly 100 years, Rotoroa Island is now home to endangered native species including kiwi, tīeke, takahē, pāteke and skinks and welcomes visitors to come and experience first-hand the conservation of these iconic species.

Rotoroa Island's resident takahē include Silberhorn, a bossy matriarch who as a first-time breeder with Teichelmann produced Kaiako in the 2016/17 breeding season, Aupiki in the 2017/18 season and Teina in the 18/19 season. Silberhorn has been given a highly valuable genetic rating, which means in order to capitalize on the breeding potential, we need to amplify her genes by breeding her with another bird of rare genetic value. She is now paired with Tupuarangi.

Kuini and Anzac were transferred to the island in 2016 as a breeding pair but Anzac went missing in action. Kuini is now paired with Hawkeye who has been recently relocated to the island from Burwood Takahē centre. A third pair, Mulgrew and Fyffe were released on the island in late 2018. 

More about Rotoroa Island and how to visit:

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