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Celebrating takahe

The Department of Conservation is asking people to join them to celebrate Takahe Awareness Month.

On DoC’s Facebook page, ten family passes are up for grabs to the six takahe sanctuaries around the country.

Simply “like” the pinned post and comment one word you would use to describe a takahe to go into the draw.

“Inquisitive”, “incredible”, “quirky”, and “honker” are just some of the words people have been commenting on the post to describe the flightless native birds.

The six sanctuaries are Auckland Zoo, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Pukaha National Wildlife Centre, ZEALANDIA, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

The competition closes April 30. Terms and conditions for entering can be found on the DoC website.

The flightless takahe (South Island takahe; Porphyrio hochstetteri) is the world’s largest living rail, a family of small-medium sized ground-dwelling birds with short wings, large feet and long toes. The North Island takahe (moho; Porphyrio mantelli) is unfortunately extinct.

Takahe have special cultural, spiritual and traditional significance to Ngai Tahu, the iwi of most of New Zealand’s South Island. Ngai Tahu value takahe as a taonga (treasure) and they continue to act as kaitiaki (guardians) of the takahe by working with DoC to protect the precious species.

Takeha are not just fat versions of pukeko. Although they look similar to their distant relative, takahe are much larger and more brightly coloured.

Takahe weigh between 2.3-3.8 kilograms.

TREASURED SPECIES: In a bid to highlight the species’ importance, DoC is celebrating April as takahe awareness month. NZ Herald file picture