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Rare Pateke at Wellington Zoo

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington Zoo recently welcomed three juvenile Brown Teal (Pāteke) to The Nest Te Kōhanga for a health screening.

Pāteke are a small duck species endemic to New Zealand. Once widespread throughout the country, they are now our rarest waterfowl species on the mainland.

"There are fewer than 2500 Pāteke left, which makes our work with them a very special opportunity," explained Wellington Zoo Veterinarian Baukje Lenting.

"On physical examination all the birds were a good weight and looked healthy. We’re now waiting for the faecal sample results to come back, so we can then determine the next course of action," added breeder Craig Shepherd.

The three Pāteke are in quarantine on Craig’s private property in Wellington, and once given a clean bill of health will make the journey down south to Peacock Springs Wildlife Park - part of the Department of Conservation’s breed for restoration plan for the birds. The Pāteke will eventually be restored to various release sites in the South Island.

"It’s wonderful to have this ongoing partnership with The Nest Te Kōhanga for avian care and conservation. These are very rare birds, and with our combined efforts hopefully future generations will see Pāteke back in the wild in the numbers they used to be," said Craig.

Pāteke were classified as ‘Nationally Endangered’ until 2008, when their conservation status was changed to ‘Recovering’, due to an increase in numbers.

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