Nesonetta aucklandica G. R. Gray, 1844, Auckland Islands; the three subspecies may deserve species status.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Brown duck, New Zealand teal, Pateke; French: Sarcelle brune; German: Auklandente; Spanish: Cerceta Maorн.
14.2–18.9 in (36–48 cm); 0.8–1.5 lb (375–700 g); A. a. aucklandica and A. a. nesiotis are flightless.
New Zealand and nearby islands. A. a. aucklandica: Auckland Islands. A. a. chlorotis: patchily distributed on North Island and southwestern South Island. A. a. nesiotis: Dent Island to the northwest of Campbell Island; 12 individuals have been released on Codfish Island in 1999.
Sheltered coastlines with kelp beds, inland wetlands with some tree cover.
Male participates in brood rearing. Very territorial during the early breeding season. Males patrol territories using aggressive displays and chest-to-chest fighting. Often nocturnal.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds by probing, dabbling, upending, and diving. Searches for food in kelp beds, washed-up algae on beaches, marshes, ponds, and slow flowing waters. Diet consists invertebrates, roots, and tips of shoots.
Seasonally monogamous. Nest is well hidden in thick vegetation. A. a. chlorotis breeds mostly from Jun. to Oct. and A. a. aucklandica begins breeding season in Dec.–Jan. Probably lays 4–8 eggs; incubation c. 29–30 days; fledging c. 50–55 days.
A. a. aucklandica considered Vulnerable and A. a. chlorotis Endangered. Only about 25 pairs remain of A. a. nesotis which is considered Critically Endangered. The species appears to be declining due to introduced predators, habitat destruction, and hunting. Listed on Appendix I of CITES.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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