Takahē chicks farewelled and Te Waewae welcomed to Rotoroa

Farewelling takahē chicks Ramaroa and Ahurewa and welcoming Te Waewae, all in a day’s work on Rotoroa Island. The big question is will Te Waewae go along with his new match on the island?

Leap Day (29th February, 2024) was all action with Takahe transfer season on Rotoroa Island. Firstly, it was an early start for our ranger (and chief matchmaker Milly), who prepared chicks Ramaroa and Ahurewa for their journey south. 

Ramaroa (who was born on the island in 2023) has stayed with parents Fyffe and Mulgrew for an extended period and helped raise the following season’s chick (Ahurewa), which is a great characteristic of takahē. Having a caring ''big sibling'' help feed the babies maximises the survival of the new chicks. When they are ready, takahē chicks who are born on Rotoroa Island go back down south to Burwood (near Te Anau). Here they are taught how to eat tussock before they are released into the wild. Island life up north is a bit different to their real world down south!

Later in the day we had a wonderful public welcome for takahē Te Waewae, the new match for takahē Mirai, one of our females who sadly lost her mate. As chief takahē matchmaker, island ranger Milly does a superb job with ‘Takahē Love Island’ by arranging pairs together for the best success. With help from Kea Kids Reporter, Kayleigh, Milly released Te Wae Wae into the ‘love shack’ (our weka exclosure) where Mirai was waiting. But every episode of Love Island needs some drama, and soon afterwards the pair broke free and are roaming the island separately. Mirai can be seen around our visitors centre and Te Waewae is often spotted on the path towards Men’s Bay. Are they being elusive? Playing hard to get maybe? Time will soon tell. 

 Check out this fabulous video of Te Waewae's release made by Kayleigh and the Kea Kids team:

Takahē transfer season is part of our work with DoC’s Takahē Recovery , to ensure these amazing birds are never again considered extinct. Takahē Recovery is all about returning takahē to the wild, you can read more about this incredible story here.

Updates from our other takahē pairs: 

Vanda and Wairau are often seen in the Home Bay area, and 
Cypher and Fyffe often above MaiMai bay are enjoying their new found freedom before the next breeding season.

Have you met a takahē yet? Come and see one for yourself on our island sanctuary.


Posted by Rotoroa Island Trust on April 12, 2024