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Previously thought extinct bird returns to New Zealand wild

Words by Tess Becker

The takahē, a large, flightless bird, that was believed for decades to be extinct has been released back into the New Zealand wild. Eighteen of the birds were released in the Lake Whakatipu Waimāori valley, a region where they haven’t been seen in over 100 years. 

Like many other birds in New Zealand, takahēs evolved without other native mammals and filled the niche that mammals would in an ecosystem, being a little larger than most birds and totally flightless. 

“They’re almost prehistoric looking,” says Tūmai Cassidy, of Ngāi Tahu, a New Zealand indigenous tribe. “Very broad and bold.”

“Someone once called us, the land of the birds that walk,” says O’Regan, a Ngāi Tahu rangatira (elder). “There are few things more beautiful than to watch these large birds galloping back into tussock lands where they haven’t walked for over a century.”

In New Zealand, the return of wild takahē populations marks a cautiously celebrated conservation victory and the return of one of the world’s rarest creatures after being officially declared extinct in 1898.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more

Collective Sun. They help nonprofits get outfitted with solar power capabilities. Check them out here

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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