KakīBlack stilt

Conservation status
In serious trouble

Staunch, fierce, rare, and beautiful, the kakī exemplify all the qualities of true New Zealanders. Once common and widespread throughout most of Aotearoa, these long-legged charmers are now only found in the braided river habitats of the Mackenzie Basin. Kakī found itself on the brink of extinction by the 1980s, with only 23 birds left in the wild. Thanks to conservation efforts, numbers are slowly increasing with 169 adults in the wild. When we think of birds which matter to us we want all New Zealanders to think of the courageous kakī - the bird that came back from the brink. Kia Kaha Kakī!

Kakī wading on a shoreline

Credit: Liz Brown