A pair of aging pāteke (brown teal) were released at Totaranui last week to see out the rest of their years at the popular Abel Tasman camping spot.
The two ducks were the first of their kind to be translocated by Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation (DOC) to Totaranui, although pāteke have previously been released at Hadfield Clearing where they have since been successfully breeding in the wild.
The birds were blessed by a representative of local iwi Manawhenua ki Mohua. Abel Tasman Youth Ambassadors and students from Motupipi Primary and Lower Moutere School were on hand to help release them.
DOC biodiversity ranger Dan Arnold says the pair released at Totaranui were part of the captive breeding programme. Although not quite at ‘retirement age’ (meaning they will still produce ducklings yearly for the next five to eight years), the pāteke pair needed to leave their North Island breeding facility to make room for a younger, more productive pair.
“We have great hopes the Abel Tasman pāteke population will become self sustaining,” says Project Janszoon director Bruce Vander Lee.