What's On at Zealandia


Welcome Waitaa and Bendigo
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

Welcome Waitaa and Bendigo

We are super excited to announce the arrival of the newest pair of takahē to Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne! The new takahē are Waitaa (female, 3 years old) and Bendigo (male, 6 years old) who came from the Burwood Takahē Centre near Te Anau.

A small group that included sanctuary whānau who whakapapa Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha attended the release in the upper valley on Monday 28 August. The Hem of Remutaka Jobs for Nature project team led, by Kirihi Nohotima, represented Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa Rangatira to officially receive the takahē.

The young pair are believed to be infertile and while they will nest, they are not expected to produce chicks. There is limited breeding habitat in Aotearoa for these flightless manu due to predators and loss of tussock grassland habitat. Hosting this pair at Zealandia ensures valuable breeding habitat is available for another pair that can have chicks. The sanctuary is also an accessible place for New Zealanders and international visitors to meet these precious taonga, who were once thought to be extinct and are naturally found in mountainous and inaccessible habitat.

Bendigo and Waitaa are settling into their new home for the next few days in a pen and then they will be released into the upper valley. There will be plenty of opportunity to see Waitaa and Bendigo once they are settled into the sanctuary. It is also likely that in time, walkers and bikers on the outside of the fence will see the takahē pair along the fence line. Please be extra vigilant when opening and closing gates on walking tracks in the sanctuary and don’t let any takahē through gates.

Photo credits:  1. Carrying Waitaa and Bendigo to their new home. 2. Waitaa and Bendigo.  Scott Langdale

If you'd like to make a donation towards other conservation projects at Zealandia, check out our donations page. 

Previous Article Media release: Wellington’s population of threatened native bird (takahē) doubles
Next Article From takahē arrival to fish mysteries, no two days are the same in conservation

Theme picker