naturally west with fiona drummond
Brown teal thriving in Habitat Te Henga The brown teal or pāteke is the largest and John Sumich filmed the first known pāteke only avian member of the three brown teals family at Matuku Link on a trail camera in July endemic to New Zealand. 2018. A second pair has had two broods this Pāteke were abundant and widespread 200 year, the first in February and another at the years ago, before the arrival of introduced end of July. John was thrilled to witness this predators, but by 2000 they had become recent family of five pāteke ducklings scooting the rarest duck species in the world. Today happily around the raupō with their attentive they are mostly confined to Northland, Great parents. Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula and The conservation success of these ducks is several island and mainland sanctuaries. Their testament to the work done by the volunteers conservation status is ‘at risk/recovering’ but at Matuku Link and, in time, the Waitākeres where they have had predator and habitat may again be a pāteke stronghold. protection, their populations have thrived. Matuku Link are currently seeking funds for However, they are still the rarest waterfowl the Million Metres Streams Project. They want species on the mainland. to plant an additional 260m of stream banks In West Auckland we are fortunate to have and re-establish 1400 square metres of native an expanding community in the Waitākere bush. They are hoping to raise $15,600 to plant Ranges wetland habitat. 1400 native plants and trees providing more Forest & Bird’s Habitat Te Henga project A Matuku Link breeding pāteke pair. Photo by habitat and helping to improve the quality of started in January 2014 aiming to control Jacqui Geux. the water that flows into the Waitākere River. predators over the Te Henga wetland and surrounding forest and Donations are appreciated. farms, so that pāteke could be released. Pāteke can breed well but are https://millionmetres.org.nz/open-project/matuku-link-restoring-avulnerable to predators, especially dogs, stoats and ferrets. rare-bird-haven Twenty birds were released in 2015, each with a radio transmitter attached so their whereabouts could be tracked. By the end of that year, 17 pāteke were still present although one bird was absent for over three months. A West Auckland flower grower After that success a further 80 were released in 2016 and again 20 is leading the way by introducing had transmitters attached. Once more 17 of the transmitter-carrying recyclable packaging for their fresh-cut pāteke survived to the end of the year so it was decided that, although flowers, reports FIONA DRUMMOND. the DOC permit allowed further translocations, they were doing so well Van Lier Nurseries in Riverhead is a no additional birds were needed. family-owned and operated business The pāteke from both releases rapidly spread to all parts of the that has been producing and selling wetland, from Bethells Beach to the pond at Te Henga rock quarry and flowers and plants since 1967. everywhere in between. As the second largest rose grower Fortnightly trapping of pests has continued and the trapping in New Zealand, they have over 2.1 contractor notes his sightings of pāteke and also other rare wetland hectares of glasshouses planted with birds including matuku (bittern) and pūweto (spotless crake). over 40 varieties of roses, as well as May 2016 was exciting when the first ducklings were observed. various other flowers. Family groups have continued to be seen at many different sites – The company’s new 100% recyclable from the wetland edge walk in the Forest & Bird reserve, along the packaging is made from unbleached Waitākere River, on some of the large open ponds of the wetland paper created from certified materials Photo c. Van Lier Nurseries. and, most recently, at West Auckland’s newest conservation project, and has been sourced from a supplier who has a sustainable Matuku Link. tree replanting programme. It also uses natural water-based ink. Matuku Link is replanting the alluvial forest, sedge and reed beds It is being used for all flower varieties grown and replaces the to make more habitat for pāteke, matuku, puweto and other native cellophane packaging previously used. 16:33 FRINGEADLTD.pdf 1 15/11/16 Continued on page 29 >> species. It is also establishing a Wetland Education Centre.
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The Fringe SEPTEMBER 2019
Formerly the Titirangi Tatler, The Fringe is a community magazine serving West Auckland