Another species, another story! Here at the park we are also home to a pair of brown teal/pāteke. One more breed-for-release programme. Welcome to the first of our Pāteke Posts!
Pāteke are another endemic species and the rarest kind of waterfowl on the mainland of Aotearoa New Zealand. Predation, vehicle strike, habitat destruction and unusually dry seasons, which result in a shortage of food are major threats to these dabbling ducks. Luckily there has been a huge amount of effort put in to protect pāteke on a national scale and the species is now listed as Recovering by the Department of Conservation. But with a population of only around 2,500, this fantastic work needs to remain ongoing!
Meet Charlie and Lucy Brown. These two love birds arrived at the park in March 2018 and are well into their third breeding season here. Five young ducks from their first clutch this year have already been sent off to The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust (ICWT) in Christchurch. Like our whio (check out our previous blog post), we send the ducklings off with Air New Zealand & the ICWT take over and get the pāteke juveniles ready for the wild.
This breeding season means the Kiwi Birdlife Park has now been a part of releasing almost 200 pāteke since we joined the programme back in 2000!
Right now it looks like our pair have been busy getting the nest ready for the next clutch... can you guess where Lucy is most likely going to lay her eggs?