Kiwi Coast groups involved in the 2015 Pateke Flock Counts have helped confirm that this rare duck is on the increase along Northland’s east coast, and moving into new areas.
Pateke, or brown teal, are the fourth most endangered duck in the world. Once a widespread and common duck in New Zealand, their numbers have dwindled alarmingly as a result of habitat destruction and predation.
The pateke on Northlands east coast are of special interest as they are wild born pateke that have returned to the area after being locally extinct for many years.
Vivienne Lepper, Pateke Ranger for the Department of Conservation says: “The trapping of animal pests along with good dog control undertaken by DOC and groups involved in the Kiwi Coast greatly benefits pateke, as well as many other native species. By doing these flock counts every year we are able to see if the pateke population is increasing in size, and expanding into new areas.”
With the help of three groups involved in the Kiwi Coast, new areas were able to be surveyed for pateke this year, including:
- Horahora: Dai Morgan (Tutor) and Conservation Management Students, NorthTec
- Pataua: John Craig – Pataua Landcare Group
- Taiharuru: – Mike Farrow – Taiharuru Catchment Care Group
Excitingly, pateke were confirmed in the Pataua area, suggesting that the ducks may indeed be expanding along the Kiwi Coast.
Pateke are small, brown ducks with a roundish shaped head and a distinctive white ring around their eyes. If you have noticed these ducks returning to your area or would like to be involved in next years Pateke Flock Counts please contact either Vivienne Lepper at the Department of Conservation or Ngaire Tyson, Kiwi Coast Coordinator.