Fiordland boost for rare ducks
Guided walkers on the Milford Track have a greater chance of spotting the rare pateke (brown teal duck) following the release of 80 birds into Fiordland National Park last month.
The ducks were flown into the Arthur Valley area, near Milford, by helicopter and released about 1.5 kilometres north of Lake Ada, close to the Milford Track.
Guided walk company Ultimate Hikes is a co-sponsor of the Pateke Recovery Project with the Fiordland Conservation Trust, the Department of Conservation and Otago Community Trust as part of a nationwide programme to help protect the endangered pateke from extinction.
Noel Saxon, general manager of Ultimate Hikes, says that at last count the population of ducks had grown from just 660 in 2001 to between 2000-2500 because of the programme.
‘‘It’s great to be supporting a project with such measurable results. Even our staff are getting behind the fundraising efforts for these ducks.’’