Kaki /Black Stilt release of 60 birds this week in the Tasman River Valley near Mt Cook National Park this week

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:

Black stilt kaki 1

Black stilt kaki 2

Black stilt kaki 3

Black stilt kaki 4

Lots more of Simon’s kakī photos >>

And you can read all about a recent and very significant funding increase here:

World’s rarest wading bird the kakī / black stilt gets new lease on life