Fiord­land boost for rare ducks

The Press - Escape - - 2 ESCAPE -

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.’’

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