Story: Wading birds

Black stilt breeding programme (1st of 2)

Black stilt breeding programme

Since the early 1980s, the Department of Conservation has run a captive breeding programme near Twizel, in an effort to prevent black stilts from becoming extinct. Eggs are removed from nests to incubate, and the chicks are raised in captivity. Meanwhile, adults lay again, producing up to three more replacement clutches of four eggs in a breeding season. In the wild, predator control and habitat restoration has also improved their chance of survival. Numbers have slowly risen, and in 2020 there were 169 adults. The black plastic ‘adult bird’ in the corner encourages chicks to identify with black, not pied, stilts.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10050048
Photograph by Peter Cook

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Wading birds - Stilts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2023)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015