image source: doc.govt.nz Habitat: New Zealand Status: Endangered
Scientists and the world alike believed that the flightless bird, the Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri), was extinct after the last four specimens of the bird were recovered in 1898. It wasn’t until a carefully planned search expedition helmed by Geoffrey Orbell in 1948 when the truth came out: the Takahē was alive and well (well, better than extinct at least).
However, the Takahē is still in grave danger. This creature is extremely threatened by over-hunting, loss of habitat and introduced predators. Not only that, since these birds are long-lived, reproduce slowly, and take several years to reach maturity, and now have a very restricted range, they face the issue of inbreeding. Ewwww. Now that’s an issue to have.
Efforts are being made to increase Takahē numbers but the road to success looks a bit rough. Hopefully conservationists can pull through in the end, though – if only so we can have many more adorable chick pictures in the future!
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I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).