As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 26 June 2020

More pāteke released in Abel Tasman, rare duck population now in the hundreds


Samantha Gee13:31, May 26 2020

ROBYN JANES/PROJECT JANSZOON

Motupipi teacher Jodie Grant releasing some of the pāteke in the Awapoto River.

There might be less people flying around the country, but a plane carrying 49 rare pāteke made a special flight to Nelson, as part of the journey to their new home in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Pāteke, or brown teal, were once widespread throughout New Zealand but are now one of the country's rarest waterfowl species, with the Department of Conservation estimating there are 2000 – 2500 birds left in the wild. 

Despite Covid-19 restrictions and reduced air capacity, the special cargo landed at Nelson Airport last week. 

After being blessed at the airport by Archdeacon Harvey Ruru​ of Te Ātiawa the birds were driven to the Abel Tasman National Park and released on the Awapoto River at dusk. 

Since 2017, Project Janszoon, the Department of Conservation and local iwi have released 288 pāteke in the Abel Tasman National Park, which is one of only two South Island pāteke sites.

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