South island takahē
Image: Jake Osborne | ©


Celebrate takahē and recognise the people involved in takahē recovery.


April is Takahē Awareness Month. It's a chance for us to celebrate takahē and recognise Ngāi Tahu, the Takahē Recovery Programme and the network of people involved in ensuring the takahē is never considered extinct again.

Did you know?

  • Takahē are endangered, with fewer than 500 birds in existence.
  • Takahē are bigger and more brightly coloured than the common pūkeko.
  • Takahē are considered a taonga (treasured) species of Ngāi Tahu.
  • The long-term goal is growing the wild takahē population.
  • Finding new wild homes is the biggest challenge.

How you can help save the takahē

Celebrate the incredible work of everyone who has helped bring takahē back from the brink of extinction.

By learning more about takahē and what makes them special, you’re halfway there. So next up – become a takahē advocate and share the takahē story.

    The story of a conservation icon

    After being presumed extinct for nearly 50 years, the takahē was famously rediscovered in 1948 by Geoffrey Orbell, a physician from Invercargill.

    For more than 70 years, measures to ensure takahē are never again considered extinct have included pioneering conservation techniques, captive breeding, island translocations and wild releases.

    Today takahē are classified as Nationally Vulnerable. While there is a way to go, this impressive feat was managed by the collaboration between the Takahē Recovery Programme, Ngāi Tahu, Fulton-Hogan and support from Mitre10, the NZ National Parks and Conservation Foundation and a diverse network of people around the country.

    This team is working hard to grow the current number of takahē and return birds to the wild by establishing self-sustaining populations within native grasslands of the South Island. Over the past five years, the takahē population has grown in excess of 10% and is forecast to continue.

    Find out more about takahē recovery:


    Takahe Recovery logo.

    Ka tū te moho
    Kia ora ake anō

    The takahē stands, in order to live again

    Keep up with the Takahe Recovery Programme - sign up to our free newsletter here.

    National partner:

    Fulton Hogan logo.


    New Zealand National Parks & Conservation Foundation logo.

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