Saturday, 1 September 2012

Rare treasures take flight

Some of the country's most endangered birds have been released into the wild in the Mackenzie Basin this week.

Conservation Department staff at Twizel released more than 45 black stilts on Wednesday, as part of an intensive conservation programme to increase numbers in the wild.

It follows another major release earlier this month, when more than 25 were freed.

Community relations manager Kiersten McKinley said the day was "just awesome".

"We couldn't have asked for better weather, really," she said.

"It was just so special to see them released."

Ms McKinley said the birds were kept in captivity for about nine-months.

"Once they go into the wild, they disperse to other parts of the basin. They do their own thing, and look for breeding sites. They're pretty tough little birds."


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