Naumai haere mai, Welcome to NZ Brown Teal Online
This site provides information about New Zealand’s critically endangered Brown Teal (Pakete), efforts to help conserve and manage them, and who is involved. The information and work programs covered in this site are part of Recovery Efforts and long-term commitment to conserve this unique species as part of our natural heritage.
The BrownTeal (Anas chlorotis), or pateke, is a small dabbling duck species endemic to New Zealand distributed throughout the lowland freshwater wetlands and, historically, the Chatham Islands. The brown teal’s omnivorous diet, restricted annual range and mainly terrestrial lifestyle give it a unique ecological niche among waterfowl, somewhat akin to a wetland rodent, and it serves as a classic example of the influence of selective forces that operated on birds in pre-human New Zealand.The Brown Teal (pateke) was once widespread throughout New Zealand but is 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 nineteenth century. There are 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. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) conservation criteria (IUCN, 1994) list brown teal as “endangered”, and the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) lists it as a “Nationally Endangered” species.
The Department of Conservation’s Brown Teal (Pakete) Recovery Plan predicts the imminent extinction of the BrownTeal in Fiordland and Northland, and forecasts only medium term brown teal survival on Great Barrier Island without intervention. Responsible for this decline are the traditional factors that have had major impacts on all native New Zealand bird life since the arrival of humans. These include predation from introduced mammals, habitat loss through wetland drainage and estuary reclamation, over exploitation and disease. These factors tend to act together, one factor exacerbating another
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