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!
Marianne Marot and Peter Wills
Peter Wills a biology and science teacher based in Auckland along with enthusiasts from the Kakī Recovery Programme compose this year's Team Kakī.
Kakī is a member of the Braided River Birds (the BiRBs) - a collection of birds in need of serious support which are adapted to the ever-changing braided rivers. Unfortunately, the extent and quality of this habitat are on the decline with many BiRBs threatened with extinction. A lot of the work done to protect kakī in the Mackenzie Basin (predator and weed control) benefits these other species too. This makes kakī their protector! Consider supporting the BiRBs by voting for kakī, turiwhatu (banded dotterel), ngutu pare (wrybill), tōrea (South Island pied oystercatcher (tōrea), tarāpunga (black-billed gull), and tarapirohe (black-fronted tern) who are all in trouble and need those rivers to breed.
Let's get kakī to spot tahi! Let's vote kakī Bird of the year 2020. A small bird but a mighty flagship for conservation.