Black Stilt (Kaki) Release

By Brooklyn Galbraith | Posted: Tuesday August 11, 2020

Last week I went on a black stilt release with the Department of Conservation in the Mackenzie Basin.

We also studied the nearby river to see how healthy it was and how much protein and food it had in it. This is essential because the black stilts need a good source of food and protein; the river is also in a great position as it is easy and quick to get to.

We released many young black stilts into the wild for the first time. The population at the end of last season was 170 and it was an amazing privilege to be able to release 120 birds over three days to add to those numbers. This has added lots of baby black stilts into the world and hopefully they breed and increase the population, preventing extinction.

Kakī are only found in the braided rivers and wetlands of the upper Waitaki and Mackenzie basins, although they can occasionally be seen in other parts of the country. It is one of New Zealand’s most threatened birds.

Overall I really enjoyed this experience and would love to do it agian.

Contributed by Brooklyn Galbraith

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