New Zealand Brown Teal (Pateke) Recovery

The New Zealand Brown Teal (or Pateke) have made a dramatic recovery on the Northern Coromandel since their release in 2002.

Translocations into the northern Coromandel have been very successful with populations spreading south and expanding. Around 260 pateke have been released at Port Charles since 2002, when the first captive-bred birds were freed in the wild.

A Pateke being held ready for release

Port Charles was chosen at short notice after an intended site, on the west coast of the South Island, was hit hard by predators and considered unsuitable. Moehau Environment Group became involved and our work to protect wetland areas and control predators subsequently boosted the amount of habitat available to the birds.

This conservation project has been hailed as “by far the world’s most prolific recovery ever recorded for an endangered waterfowl species” -Brown Teal Conservation Trust

Our 2012 census done in February and March for Waikawau Bay, showed a stable population of Pateke with over 160 birds counted. They are now seen day and night in the Northern Coromandel all year round.

This small brown dabbling duck has been in serious decline for the past fifty years. But thanks to the efforts of DOC, Ducks Unlimited, community groups, and support from Banrock Wines, several very successful translocations have taken place and there are now over 2000 of these unusual little waterfowl in New Zealand.

Thanks to the intensive predator control efforts of Moehau Environment Group these endangered birds have a good chance of successfully living long and healthy lives!