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Natives

Brown Teal

brown teal

Anas chlorotis

Distribution:

Hightest populations are found on Great Barrier and Little Barrier Islands

Habitat:

They prefer heavily vegetated wetlands with still or slow-flowing open water

Diet:

Insects, worms, snails, shoots, roots and seeds

Breeding:

July to December. However in certain circumstances, that is if the conditions are suitable, brown teal have been known to breed in ever month of the year; a truely unique phenomenon

Nest:

Bowl-shaped, lined with down, usually in vegetation close to the water's edge

Eggs:

Five to six creamy brown eggs incubated for 27-30 days. The male acts as an aggresive guard

Chicks:

Fledge at 55 days

Predators:

Introduced mammals, harriers and pukekp; eels may eat the ducklings

Conservation status:

Endangered

General:

This small slow-flying duck is also known as the pateke. Distinguishing features include its small size and general brown colouration with lighter chest.

Once recorded as being in all major swamplands, sadly wetland drainage, forest clearance and the introduction of predators have caused their decline. Two distinct flightless subspecies are found on Auckland and Campbell Islands. There are currently fewer than 2000 brown teal living in the wild in mainland New Zealand, making it our rarest waterfowl species.

Click here to go to the dedicated brown teal conservation website.

The brown teal’s omnivorous diet, restricted annual range and mainly terrestrial lifestyle give it a unique ecological niche among waterfowl.