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Auckland Teal Anas aucklandica
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Vulnerable because it has a very small population. The possibility of accidental introductions of invasive mammal species to the islands is a continuing concern, although the species occurs at enough locations to be relatively secure in the short term.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

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

48 cm. Small, flightless, dark brown duck. Brown eclipse male, female, juvenile. Mottled, dark brown breast. Prominent white eye patch. Breeding male, glossy green head, very narrow white collar, flank patch. Voice Soft, high-pitched wheezy whistles and popping (male), low quacks and growls (female).

Distribution and population
Anas aucklandica is endemic to New Zealand where it has permanent populations on Ewing, Enderby, Rose, Ocean, Adams, Disappointment and Dundas Islands in the Auckland Islands group. The total area of the seven islands is 113 km2 but, with the exception of Disappointment Island, birds were predominantly dispersed along island shorelines, but now occur throughout Adams Island at least (M. Williams in litt. 1999). It formerly bred on Auckland Island itself, where there are records from the 1940s. Three population estimates suggest that total numbers do not exceed 600 individuals, three indicate numbers of more than 1,000 (Moore and Walker 1991), and one suggests a population of more than 2,000 birds (Heather and Robertson 1997). The population appears to be stable.

Population justification
The species's population has been estimated at 600-2,000 mature individuals (Moore and Walker 1991, Heather and Robertson 1997).

Trend justification
Population surveys show no evidence of on-going declines, with all islands that currently support populations now free from introduced mammals. However, the population is unlikely to expand while cats and pigs remain on the main Auckland Island.

It primarily inhabits sheltered coastlines feeding on tideline resources, and uses dense coastal vegetation as escape and nesting cover. Pairs may retreat 100-200 m up small streams or to coastal pools for daytime cover, but forage on the shorelines after dark (M. Williams in litt. 1999). It feeds mostly in washed up seaweed for invertebrates, or in coastal pools, and also eats algae (Moore and Walker 1991). It has a low breeding rate and low annual productivity (Williams 1995).

Introduced cats and pigs caused its extinction on Auckland Island. The accidental introduction of mammals to the remaining island populations could cause further local extinctions but it is unlikely to affect all sub-populations simultaneously (Moore and Walker 1991). The introduction of avian disease is also considered a significant potential threat (McClelland 1993).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. Cattle, rabbits and mice have been eradicated from Enderby Island, and rabbits from Rose Island, leaving all teal-inhabited islands free of introduced mammals. The eradication of pigs and cats from Auckland Island is planned if resources can be sourced. The cost was estimated at $22 million in 2007 and it is not considered likely to take place in the near future (Hyndman 2011). The species has bred successfully in captivity as an aid to the Campbell Island Teal A. nesiotis recovery programme, but no dedicated captive-breeding population is proposed (M. Williams in litt. 1999). Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor wild populations. Promote the recovery of the species and the importance of predator-free island ecosystems. Promote the removal of predators from the Auckland Islands to allow for future reintroductions (McClelland 1993).  Develop a structured captive breeding programme for future reintroductions and supplementation efforts.

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Daugherty, C. H.; Williams, M.; Hay, J. M. 1999. Genetic differentiation, taxonomy and conservation of Australasian teals Anas spp. Bird Conservation International 9: 29-42.

Heather, B. D.; Robertson, H. A. 1997. The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Hyndman, G. 2011. No plans to eradicate island pigs. Available at: (Accessed: 12/03/2012).

Lambert, D. and Robins, J. 1995. Testing for evidence of philopatry : minisatellite DNA variation in Auckland Island teals. Conservation Advisory Science Notes No. 128. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

McClelland, P. 1993. Subantarctic teal recovery plan Anas aucklandica. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Moore, P. J.; Walker, K. 1991. Auckland Island Teal Anas aucklandica aucklandica revisited. Wildfowl 42: 137-144.

Williams, M. 1995. Social structure, dispersion and breeding of Auckland Island Teal. Notornis 42: 219-262.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

New Zealand Govt - Dept of Conservation - Recovery Plan

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Martin, R, McClellan, R., Taylor, J.

Hitchmough, R., Williams, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Anas aucklandica. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Auckland Islands teal (Anas aucklandica) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans)
Species name author (Gray, 1844)
Population size 600-2000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 42 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species