The last 21 of more than 350 pāteke ducks have been released into the Abel Tasman National Park, marking a four-year success story for the rare native birds.
Project Janszoon, working alongside iwi, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, and the Department of Conservation, has been releasing pāteke (brown teal) into the Abel Tasman since 2017.
The juvenile birds, about five or six months old, were reared around the country before being checked over by the Isaac Wildlife and Conservation Trust in Canterbury, before being sent to Project Janszoon for release into their new home.
Pāteke were once an abundant species of duck across the country, but introduced predators like cats and rodents reduced their numbers significantly, and they are now only found in the South Island in Fiordland and, after their reintroduction, in the Abel Tasman.
Project Janszoon director Bruce Vander Lee said their successful reintroduction to the park relied on the intense pest control efforts of volunteers and DOC staff, and now the birds were “exploding out” into surrounding areas.
You can read more about the release of these beautiful birds here