Conservation Minister Announces 'Maud The Takahe' Has Given Birth
Maud the takahe, transferred from the Marlborough Sounds to the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland to avoid getting beaten up by other takahe, is the proud mother of a small chick, the Minister of Conservation Hon Sandra Lee announced today.
“Maud has come through her troubles in the South Island to find true love on Tiritiri Matangi Island,” Ms Lee said.
Maud and Greg, the father of the as yet unnamed chick, were forced together when Maud was transferred to the island in June by the Department of Conservation.
"Greg was heartbroken at the time because he only just lost his mate," Ms Lee said. "Maud, an older bird at 16 years old, was kept in a pen with Greg for company when she first arrived on Tiritiri Matangi. They hit it off straightaway."
“We all hoped Maud would breed, but it’s always a surprise if it happens," the Conservation Minister said. "Maud’s chick brings the total of takahe left in the world to just over 220.”
She said another two birds on Tiritiri Matangi had also added to the island’s takahe population this season of Maud plus 17 adults with three new additions between them making a total of 21 takahe birds.
The first milestone will be reached when the chick turns one week old on Friday (10 November). DOC staff won’t name the chick until it reaches a substantial milestone though – four months old. At that stage, they will be able to determine the chick’s gender with DNA testing. The team on the island only recently found out that a takahe named Blossum they thought might breed was in fact a male.
Maud has already made a substantial contribution to DOC's takahe breeding programme, previously producing a total of nine chicks from three different partners.