Once thought to be extinct, then rediscovered in 1948. The South Island takahē is the largest living rail in the world.

English name: South Island takahē 

Māori name: Takahē

Scientific name: Porphyrio hochstetteri

New Zealand status: Endemic (only found in New Zealand) momo taketake

Conservation status: Nationally vulnerable

Kaitiaki: Ngāi Tahu

Threats: Predation from stoats, competition for resources with deer. The biggest natural threat when chicks are young is predation by Australasian harriers (kāhu) or pūkeko. That's why takahē parents keep young chicks well hidden in dense vegetation until they are big enough to venture out into more open areas.

I mōhio rānei koe? Did you know?: There are now 500 takahē. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari has contributed a total of 24 chicks to this growing national population.


Other name: Notornis

Takahē at Sanctuary Mountain® Maungatautari

We are privileged to have two breeding pairs of takahē and their chicks living behind the safety of the Xcluder® pest-proof fence. A dedicated team of volunteers and staff keep a close eye on both families of takahē several times per week and offer them supplementary feeding to ensure they are in good condition throughout the year.

One family of takahē live in the Tautari Wetland. This area is only accessible by guided tour. You can come and visit them by joining us on a Wetland Guided Tour. Join our knowledgeable and keen guides who will take you on an adventure to observe these stunning birds.

Book a Guided Tour 

The other family of takahē live in an area of the mountain called ''Cooper's". This area is only accessible to our rangers via four-wheel drive access around the mountain.


Ka tū te moho
Kia ora ake anō
The takahē stands, in order to live again.

Meet our Tautari Wetland Takahē family

Visit the Tautari Wetland by Guided Tour.