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Observations on the breeding behaviour of the Takahe ( Porphyrio mantelli ) on Mana Island

TitleObservations on the breeding behaviour of the Takahe ( Porphyrio mantelli ) on Mana Island
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsRyan, C
Type of Articlepaper
Keywordsbreeding behaviour, Takahe, territoriality

The establishment since 1984 of small of Takahe (Porphyrio mantelli) on four predator-free islands has been an important component of the conservation strategy for the birds. However, initial productivity of birds in these habitats has been lower than expected due largely to low hatching success of early clutches. This study aims to describe behaviour associated with courtship, incubation and post-hatch care to assess possible behavioural causes of low productivity in Takahe on islands. No unusual behaviour associated with breeding was observed that might result in low productivity, although only two complete copulations were observed during the study. One incomplete copulation involving a yearling male was also observed. Territorial behaviour was recorded to compare with later years when densities of island populations increase. Six territorial interactions between neighbouring pairs were observed, three when pairs were between nesting attempts and ranging widely, and three when two pairs nested in close proximity. Monitoring of aggressive behaviour may be important as it may interfere with successful reproduction.

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