By Emma Hurley
Monday 3 Oct 2016 5:05 p.m.
Two rare native birds have been spotted on a West Coast dairy farm - the first such sighting in 37 years - and the Department of Conservation (DoC) is asking the public to keep an eye out for them.
Kaki ranger Liz Brown says this is the first sighting of kaki in the Arahura Valley since records began in 1979. Kaki are critically endangered, with less than 100 birds in the wild.
"It's pretty neat to see where they ended up. After they disappeared, we thought the worst. We supplementary feed newly released birds for around six weeks post release, but happily, these two sussed out how to fend for themselves without our help," she says.
DoC staff identified the birds by their leg bands. They were part of the department's breeding programme in Twizel, a partnership with the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust in Christchurch. The pair hatched during the 2014/2015 summer and were released in early January.
As part of the breeding programme, eggs are collected from both captive and wild pairs where they're artificially incubated and chicks are hand-reared for release into the wild.
Kaki have been intensively managed since 1981, when their population declined to a low of just 23 birds.
Although the sex of the birds is unknown, it is possible they may be a breeding pair.
Anyone who spots the elusive pair should email Ms Brown.