Brown Teal Release, May 16 2007

Text from the Travis Wetland newsletter June 2007, Kristi Gray author.

An exciting new project at Travis Wetland has seen the return of the Brown Teal or pateke, a small native dabbling duck once a common site on our wetlands.

Twenty of the wildfowl which have been bred by the Pateke Recovery Group in 15 different locations around the country were released yesterday at Travis in a trial aimed at repopulating pateke in the area.

The wildfowl have been extinct in the South Island and the release aims to test how they will survive in a predator reduced environment.

Pateke were once widespread throughout New Zealand but are now rare and restricted to Great Barrier Island and coastal valleys of eastern Northland.

The species has suffered an ongoing decline in numbers and range since the late 19th century.

There are now currently fewer than 1000 Brown Teal living in a wild state in New Zealand, making it New Zealand’s rarest waterfowl species on the mainland.

Images by Alex Mitchell