Pateke released on Rotoroa

Pāteke (brown teal) were released onto Rotoroa Island on today - a move that will boost advocacy and educational opportunities for this endangered endemic waterfowl, as well as contribute to growing its wild population.

Three pāteke breeding pairs, translocated from Christchurch's Peacock Springs will be settled in to wetlands on the Hauraki Gulf island where Auckland Zoo and the Rotoroa Island Trust (RIT) are creating a unique wildlife sanctuary.

The new arrivals, approved for transfer by the Department of Conservation's (DOC) pāteke recovery group, are all fitted with transmitters to enable regular monitoring. The birds will also be supplementary fed via feeding hoppers at the three respective wetland areas as part of the birds' intensive conservation management.

The new resident pāteke will hopefully go on to breed and their offspring will either be moved to new sites or allowed to disperse naturally as there are wild pāteke on the Coromandel and Great Barrier Island, both a relatively short flight away. The pāteke is the seventh New Zealand native species to be introduced to Rotoroa under the Auckland Zoo-RIT partnership.

Rotoroa Island Trust chair Barrie Brown says he and his fellow trustees are thrilled to be welcoming pāteke.

"Pāteke were once widespread throughout New Zealand's lowland freshwater wetlands and on many offshore islands, so it's very special to for us to have them here".

Posted by Angela Bishop on September 24, 2015