New Zealand Black Stilt Numbers Climb
With its stark black plumage, and coral red legs, the New Zealand Kaki¨ is a stunner. Its stark beauty stands out, even among the gorgeous family of the stilts and avocets. Once widespread, Kaki¨numbers dwindled and by 1991 there were only 31 individuals left, making it one of the world's most endangered wading birds. The Kaki¨, or black stilt, is an endemic New Zealander, and has suffered due to predation by introduced weasels, feral cats, and rats. However, the species' fortunes seem to be looking up, thanks to the coordinated efforts of captive breeding facilities and the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Kaki¨ numbers have more than tripled, from 31 to 106 birds as of August of this year. Obviously, there is still a long way to go before Kaki¨ chicks are once again fledging from wild nests in sustainable numbers, but the species now has a much firmer foothold thanks to interagency cooperation, and forward thinking.
NWAS staff has had experience maintaining and breeding rehabilitated black necked stilts, and this family is a favorite of ours because of their impossible grace. Let us help you with your conservation, propagation, and research equipment needs at: