Takahē release, Murchison Mountains, Lake Te Anau
Image: OneShot / Robert Brown | ©


Puppets, bantam hens, helicopter pilots, ecologists, biologists, deer cullers, stoat trappers, rangers and volunteers, all have contributed to takahē recovery.

Takahe Recovery logo.

For more than 75 years attempts to save takahē have pioneered conservation techniques for protected species in New Zealand and in the world.

The Takahē Recovery Programme involves a network of people throughout New Zealand, working together to ensure the takahē is never again ‘considered extinct’.

    Our vision and goals

    Takahē Recovery Programme vision

    Takahe exist in growing numbers in large areas of their former natural range as a functioning element of natural ecosystems, and are treasured as a national icon.

    A plan for the future – our goals

    The conservation of takahē is currently guided by four Takahē Recovery Programme goals to be achieved by 2026:

    • The population growth rate is greater than 5% per annum.
    • Increase the takahē population to a minimum of 90 breeding aged pairs at secure sites.
    • Maintain the Murchison Mountains and establish at least one new recovery site.
    • The value of takahē as a taonga (treasure) and a conservation icon is recognised and their story is widely known and understood. This recognition contributes to a successful and sustainable Takahē Recovery Programme.

    Our work

    Today the work of a small dedicated team of DOC takahē rangers is well supported and enhanced by iwi, scientists, volunteers, and the public and private organisations that provide safe homes and care for the growing breeding takahē and those birds now retired from the breeding programme.

    Our work includes an intensively managed breeding programme, genetic management, research, monitoring, wild releases and island translocations, and stoat and deer control.

    The last few years has seen a dramatic change in the Takahē Recovery Programme.

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