Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Campbell Island teal

Anas nesiotis

Campbell taling / Campbellente / Sarcelle de Campbell

 

In the past Anas aucklandica (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into A. aucklandica, A. chlorotis and A. nesiotis following Daugherty et al. (1999).

 

The Campbell teal or Campbell Island teal is a small, flightless, nocturnal species of dabbling duck of the genus Anas endemic to the Campbell Island group of New Zealand. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the brown teal. The plumage is similar to that of the Auckland teal, dark sepia with the head and back tinged with green iridescence, and a chestnut breast on the male, with the female dark brown all over. Its natural habitat is tussock grassland dominated by Poa tussock grass, ferns andmegaherbs. The species also uses the burrows and pathways of petrel species that nest on the islands. They are apparently territorial in the wild, and probably feed on amphipods and insects.

 

This species is listed as Endangered because it has an extremely small population, which is nevertheless increasing thanks to successful conservation efforts. The species remains susceptible to external threats, and any evidence of a renewed decline is likely to make the species eligible for uplisting (IUCN, 2013).

 

Following a captive-breeding, reintroduction and translocation programme, the species is now thought to have exceeded 50 mature individuals for at least five years. Based on the numbers released, surveys and opportunistic observations of breeding and dispersal activity (P. McClelland in litt. 2011), the population probably includes between 100 and 200 mature individuals, equivalent to 150-300 individuals in total.

 

It lives under thick, chest-high tussock (there are no pools or running water on Dent). It has been sighted over most of the island, but is probably more common below 100 m, and in damp areas. It has not been observed feeding on the island, but in captivity it feeds on amphipods, weevils, earthworms, seaweed and other insects. Birds released onto Codfish Island have been observed feeding on invertebrates in piles of rotting seaweed along the shore and foraging offshore at night (Gummer and Williams 1999). In captivity, females sometimes lay two clutches of between one and four eggs (Preddey 1995). Reintroduced males on Campbell Island hold territories. Birds have dispersed into open upland areas, Dracophyllum forest, upstream habitats and coastal beaches (Gummer 2006a).

 

Brown rats Rattus norvegicus on Campbell (one of the densest field populations in the world) may have caused its disappearance from this island (Williams and Robertson 1996). The successful eradication of this invasive alien species in 2001 has allowed the reintroduction of teal from captive stock. However, accidental reintroduction of rats, severe weather events and the introduction of avian disease remain possible threats. Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi, Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus, and Northern Giant-petrel Macronectes halli are potential natural predators (P. J. McClelland in litt. 2008, 2010, 2011).

 

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Above: adult drake Campbell Island teal. Photo by Erik-Jan Budding

 

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Above: adult female Campbell Island teal. Photo by Erik-Jan Budding

 

Above: Campbell Island teal feeding

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