Cuteness alert! Today’s photo is of a paradise shelduck/pūtangitangi duckling.
The paradise shelduck is New Zealand’s only shelduck, a worldwide group of large, often semi-terrestrial waterfowl that have goose-like features.
Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Ranger Kelly Eaton found this paradise shelduck duckling on the Shine Falls Track in the Maungaharuru-Tutira catchment, after servicing a series of self-resetting rat traps that DOC is pioneering as part of the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project.
Poutiri Ao ō Tāne includes an 8,800 ha predator-control initiative which later became the catalyst for Cape to City, a 26,000 ha restoration project between Hastings, Cape Kidnappers, and Waimarama.
Both of these projects are critical steps towards seeing native species return to the landscape in which we live, work, and play.
Photo: Lauren Buchholz.