Understanding the Takahe Bird Essay

878 Words 4 Pages
In order to apply different methodologies to preserve the takahe effectively, studies have to be conducted to understand the bird as much as possible. It is indicated that takahe is a specialist species, which means they can only live in one type of habitat and have limited capability to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions and are able to eat only certain types of food (Miller & Spoolman, 2010, p. 72). In Fiordland, the birds live in alpine grassland, and eat tussocks mostly, and snow tussocks are their favorite. Nonetheless, in winter, the takahe change their living location to forested valleys, where they can find the rhizome of the fern. On the other hand, on islands, the food that the takahe feed on is a mixture of native and different types of introduced grasses (Crouchley, 1994, p. 6).

The most important reason the birds need protecting is because they are endemic to New Zealand. Since the Maori and European colonization started, the bird population has suffered a sharp decline over time. During the Maori colonization, over-hunting was a major factor causing the size of the population to shrink. Thereby, by the time the Europeans arrived, the number of takahe was already critically low (Bunin & Jamieson, 1995, p. 101). In addition to this, in the late 1960s, there were many other elements including severe modification of the vegetation by deer, predators such as stoats, and possibly accidental poisoning by cyanide. Severe weather also contributed to the…