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

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

Exciting News Today – kakī New Zealand’s black stilt, has been granted funds to help secure the population status of the worlds rarest wader.

Black Stilts

Juvenile kakī following release at Tasman Delta, Nov 2016 (Photo by Rachel Hufton)

Finally, the Twizel Recovery Centre can begin to increase its capacity for hatching, rearing chicks and releasing juveniles back into their iconic braided river habitat.

I will always remember being part of one of the releases of juvenile kakī on the Tasman Delta with the DOC Twizel team – one of those special moments, indeed. A project well deserving of international support.

Rachel Hufton

Global Wildlife Conservation Partners in Future of New Zealand’s Kakī ~ For immediate release June 22, 2017

kakī / black stilt
photo credit Kate-Lawrence

Global Wildlife Conservation today injected some additional hope into the once-uncertain future of the world’s rarest wading bird, a critically endangered species found only on the South Island of New Zealand. In recent years, the kakī, or black stilt, has begun rebounding from the brink of extinction thanks to the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s captive breeding and reintroduction program. Through a significant contribution to the program, GWC is helping ensure that kakī can one day thrive on their own in the wild.

Adult Kakī with New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook
Adult kakī with New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook, in the background. (Photo by Liz Brown)

New Zealand is a true conservation jewel, but there are ongoing declines of native species and habitats”, said GWC board chairman Brian Sheth, who is visiting with the Department of Conservation this week and whose philanthropic organization, Sangreal Foundation, provided funds for the project. “We are excited to partner with the forward-thinking and collaborative Department of Conservation, who innovatively partner with non-profits, Māori communities, businesses, and other stakeholders to preserve the country’s unique natural and cultural heritage. The critical conservation program in the Mackenzie Basin, including the recovery of the kakī, will be a model for the country.”

pair of Kakī adults in the Tasman Valley
A pair of kakī adults in the Tasman Valley. (Photo by Liz Brown)

Kakī were once widespread across… [Read More at the Source>>]

Juvenile Black Stilt
Juvenile kakī (Photo Rachel Hufton)

Source: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Gets New Lease on Life