29 Aug 2015

Three more takahē for Motutapu

11:01 am on 29 August 2015

Three takahē have been released onto Motutapu Island, a fortnight after four of the endangered birds were shot dead during a botched pukeko cull.

Takahē at the Maungatautari Ecological Reserve

Takahē at the Maungatautari Ecological Reserve Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The four takahē killed were buried in a traditional Māori ceremony on Thursday.

Rick Braddock, who farms on the island, said two adult takahē and a chick had since been released after being moved from the Maungatautari Ecological Reserve in Waikato.

That brought Motutapu Island's takahē population to 20.

The first island-born Takahe chick.

The first island-born Takahe chick. Photo: SUPPLIED / Motutapu Restoration Trust

Mr Braddock said breeding was a slow process, but his hopes were high.

"The island has the capacity to accommodate over 500 takahē. Fingers crossed for a good mating season this coming summer.

"We're still at the very beginning of this takahē journey, it's only been going for a few years, so we're hoping that the numbers will multiply quickly from here on."

The Department of Conservation said its investigation into how the four takahē were killed was likely to take a couple more weeks.