The kakī, or black stilt, is an endemic native wading bird found only in New Zealand, and it is regarded by the Māori as a living treasure – a taonga species.
The population in 2017 is 106 wild adult birds, so the release represents a significant increase in numbers – lets hope stoats and cats don’t get them!
They’re a nationally critical and threatened species found on braided rivers and wetlands almost entirely in the Mackenzie Basin, South Island.
Thanks DOC for the above info. More here >>
Other threats apart from predation is disturbance by people and/or farm animals, and habitat loss, especially from the introduced lupin, and broom and weeds that capitalise on braided river beds increasingly degraded by non-sustainable farming practises – irrigation draw off for example does not leave enough water during some floods to wash the seeds of the intruders away, so they get a foothold, thus giving cover to predators, and destroying favoured breeding terrain.
A big thanks to my old friend Simon Middlemass for the below images of the release last Thursday 10 August 2017:
And you can read all about a recent and very significant funding increase here: