To celebrate Conservation Week the Pāteke Recovery Group is proud to release the Pāteke Survival Guide. This guide is a resource for landowners, community groups and other parties interested in the recovery of pāteke/brown teal.
This rare dabbling duck was once widespread throughout New Zealand, but suffered a massive decline during the 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly due to predation from introduced predators and habitat loss. There are currently between 2000 and 2500 wild pāteke in New Zealand, making it our rarest waterfowl species on the mainland.
The future of pāteke, our rarest waterfowl species, depends on the efforts of local communities.
Pāteke have been brought back from the brink of extinction by the careful management of wild populations at Great Barrier Island and Northland. The Department of Conservation has been assisted in this work by the huge support offered from local communities, Ngati Wai, Ngati Rehua and Ngai Tahu.
A key part of pāteke recovery is the establishment of new populations in several locations around New Zealand using translocated birds bred in captivity. This recovery project is a great success due to the overwhelming dedication of the captive breeders and the communities at release sites who have made it possible for pāteke to return to their former range.
There is much landowners and community groups can do to help pāteke recovery. The Pāteke Survival Guide gives an overview of pāteke ecology and best advice for pāteke management, as well as showing how three different community initiatives have been successful in protecting this very unique duck. Examples in the guide are as varied as a property developer, a community group in a coastal town and the owners of a large farm.
Conservation Week is an ideal opportunity to show the future of pāteke depends on communities such as those at Tutukaka, Coromandel Peninsula, Tawharanui and Cape Kidnappers. These groups can be proud to know that pāteke will flourish in their local areas and we hope that this guide will inspire and encourage more people to take advantage of the opportunities out there to contribute to pateke recovery.