This winter the Department of Conservation (DOC) released 104 juvenile kakī/black stilts - the world’s rarest wading bird - into the natural environment within the Mackenzie Basin. Of these birds 24 were raised here at our facilities.

In 2020 the adult kakī population increased by 30% from 2019, to a total of 169 adults. This was the population’s most significant increase since the recovery programme began over 40 years ago. “It’s certainly a collective effort with the population increase the result of both an intensive captive breeding programme and an increase in predator control throughout the Mackenzie Basin where they live in the wild.” says DOC Senior Biodiversity Ranger, Dean Nelson.

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