Black stilt/kakī, world's rarest wading bird
Kakī, or black stilt (Himantopus novaezelandiae), is a native wading bird only found in New Zealand. It is regarded by Māori as a taonga species – a living treasure.
Once common throughout New Zealand, kakī is now restricted to the braided rivers and wetlands of the Mackenzie Basin, South Island.
Kakī have completely black plumage and long red legs.
The main threats to kakī are predators, habitat loss and human disturbance.
Kakī have been intensively managed since 1981, when their population declined to a low of just 23 birds.
Learn what to do when visiting black stilt habitat.
The kakī/black stilt Visitor Hide is a great place to see one of New Zealand’s rarest birds up close.
Watch videos, read blog posts by DOC staff, and check out the latest news articles about black stilt/kakī and DOC's work with these species.
Listen to or download recordings of black stilt/kakī song.
New Zealand Birds Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand birds
DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:
0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.