TONTO THE TAKAHE  
 
  Tonto is our Ranger Unit mascot. She is a Takahe.
Why have a Takahe as our mascot?
*She is Jade & Navy with a little bit of red - just like us when in uniform
*She spends her days eating or lazing in the sun but can be very industrious - just like us
*Like us she is a Southlander. She lives in Fiordland which is part of Southland.
*She is Endangered and as a Ranger Unit we can help.
 
     
   
 
  Here is a little bit about the Takahe from the Kiwi Conservation Club

There were only 4 official sightings of takahe between 1800 and 1900, so by 1930 the takahe was presumed extinct.

But there was a man, Dr Geoffrey Orbell, who believed there were still takahe in the valleys of the Murchison Mountains. He spent his weekends and holidays tramping through the valleys with his friends in search of the takahe. It took many trips and LOTS of walking, but he found them!

Dr Geoffrey Orbell rediscovered the takahe on the 20th of November 1948. It turned out there were about 250 takahe living in the valleys of the Murchison Mountains and the neighbouring ranges.
The valley where Dr Orbell rediscovered the takahe was named ‘Takahe Valley’ and the Lake nearby was named 'Lake Orbell'
 
     
   
    Tonto in her natural environment. She was purchased as part of the Mitre 10 Takahe Rescue.  
   
 
  Stuff about The Takahe
• Beautiful blue and green feathers
• Small wings – not used for flying
• About the size of a large hen
• Approximately 50cm tall
• Around 3 kilograms in weight
•  Like many browsing creatures they spend most of the day eating to get enough nourishment from their food source. The Murchison Mountains takahe’s preferred food is three varieties of tussock grass - broad leafed snow tussock, mid-ribbed snow tussock and curled snow tussock. They eat the fresh, juicy part at the bottom of each blade, where the sugar and protein is found.
• Strong beak
• Sturdy legs
• It is an endangered species
• The takahe is only found in New Zealand, which means it is endemic to New Zealand.
• Its scientific name 'Porphyrio mantelli hochstetteri'.
• Takahe are related to the pukeko (another native New Zealand bird)
• It is the largest living member of the rail family of birds
• Once found in both the North and South Islands, takahe now only live in the wild in the Murchison and Stuart Mountains in Fiordland National Park.
• Takahe Valley in Fiordland National Park was named after the takahe
• Small numbers of takahe have been relocated to four offshore islands - Maud, Mana, Kapiti and Tiritiri Matangi
• In 1953 a 500 kilometre square area within Fiordland National Park was set aside especially for takahe conservation . Learn where takahe live in the wild - check out the
Takahe Map
• Total Adult Takahe 2004/2005 season = 259

Would you like to know more
click here
 
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