Monday, May 27, 2024
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Takahē take to the sky courtesy of Air New Zealand

More than a dozen takahē have had their first taste of flight with Air New Zealand.

In partnership with the Department of Conservation, Air New Zealand helped fly 15 takahē“ from Invercargill to Nelson. The precious flightless birds got to experience the skies, albeit with some much larger wings.

Each bird was housed in its own carrier and made honorary members of Air New Zealand’s ‘infrequent flyers’ loyalty programme.

Air New Zealand head of sustainability Meagan Schloeffel says the airline is big a fan of takahƒì¬ì and it’s fantastic to play a part in their translocation.

"Flying the takahē“ in our ATR aircraft is a really special way we can help DOC get these flightless birds safely to their new home. Increasing the numbers of takahē“ in the wild is a critical step towards once again having multiple takahē“ populations living in their natural South Island grassland habitats.

"Our longstanding partnership with DOC has seen us transport 245 takahē“ over the years and more than 4000 threatened species and conservation dogs that work to protect them, around Aotearoa."

Threatened species ambassador Erica Wilkinson says being able to translocate takahē“ and other threatened species on Air New Zealand services is important to growing their populations.

"Takahƒì are one of our nationally vulnerable birds with about 450 left in the world. We’re taking the 15 birds from their bootcamp to the wild because they’re now big enough and independent enough to take care of themselves.

"The Air New Zealand partnership is fundamental for DOC, by helping us move our species around they allow us to do more for our native species on the ground."

Air New Zealand is DOC’s national partner for conservation and is proud to continue collaborating to conserve native species and protect and enhance Aotearoa’s natural environment.

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