30 Dec 2017

Takahē chick hatched just before Christmas dies

11:46 am on 30 December 2017

A takahē chick at Wellington's Zealandia Ecosanctuary thought to have hatched just before Christmas has died.

In a post on Facebook, Zealandia says its breeding pair of takahe had a nest, but since a cold snap over Christmas aren't showing any signs they're rearing a chick.

"The Conservation Team are reporting that they aren't seeing any behaviours now that indicate Nio and Orbell are rearing a chick. We think that the torrential rain and cold weather on Christmas night and Boxing Day may have caused the chick to perish."

While this was disappointing for the sanctuary, staff were heartened the two takahē, called Nio and Orbell, had settled in so quickly after arriving in August and that they managed to successfully hatch a chick.

"In much more positive news, our retired pair, T2 and Ahikaea, are settling in very well together, after Ahikaea's release into the sanctuary last week."

T2 and Ahikaea are settling in very well together.

T2 and Ahikaea are settling in very well together. Photo: Adam Miller/Zealandia Ecosanctuary

The Department of Conservation celebrated a record breeding season for the critically endangered takahe this year, bringing the official population up to 347 birds.