Photo of the week: Pāteke / brown teal

Department of Conservation —  03/06/2015

Pāteke / brown teal are a small dabbling duck found only in New Zealand. They are our rarest duck, with a wild population of around 2500 birds.

Pāteke / brown teal. Photo copyright Sabine Bernert | DOC use only.

Last Thursday, 20 captive-bred pāteke were released on pest-free Motutapu Island in the heart of Auckland.

Motutapu is an ideal site to release pāteke as it has just right mix of habitat for this at risk native bird.

The release marked the start of a five-year plan that aims to establish a self-sustaining population of 50 breeding pairs of pāteke on Motutapu.

Thanks to Bayer New Zealand for funding the release.

Photo: Sabine Bernert ©

2 responses to Photo of the week: Pāteke / brown teal


    Nice work. However, “with a wild population of around 2500 birds” they can’t be “our rarest duck”, as there are only something like 1000 Auckland Island teal, and there are probably fewer than a couple of hundred Campbell Island teal. Then there is the grey duck which is on the verge of extinction in NZ, if not already gone, yet is still legally shot during the shooting season!


    Another wonderful initiative to ensure the survival of our rare wild life. Well done to DOC and to Bayer New Zealand.