High above the bushline over-looking Lake Te Anau, conservation staff Jo Leddington and Phil Marsh attaching a transmitting device in the form of a harnessed backpack to a takahe.
The Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri) is a flightless rail weighing up to 3kg. They were believed extinct until a dramatic rediscovery in 1948 by Geoffrey Orbell, in the Murchison Mountains of Fiordland. Endemic to New Zealand, a remnant population still survives in the subalpine grasslands of the Murchison Mountains.
Experiencing a lull in what was once an intensive conservation management programme in the Murchison Mountains, in recent years the wild population really appears to be struggling to support itself in the face of ongoing predation and natural hazards in a harsh mountain environment dropping precariously towards a critical limit; falling from an estimated 175 birds in 2005 to under 100 as of March 2013.