Captive Breeding

The goal of the Brown Teal captive breeding program is to maintain, manage and develop the Brown Teal captive breeding program to retain known genetic diversity, annually supply known quality birds for release in the quantities and at the times required by the recovery program, and to contribute to Brown Teal advocacy.

The program is coordinated by a “Captive Management Coordinator” who manages where each bird is held or transferred to, advises and communicates with each holder, and keeps track of each bird and their progeny in an offical studbook. The Captive Management Coordinator is also a member of the recovery group and is heavily involved in liasing and coordinating each release into the wild.  Currently there are 3 releases each year occurring in February, May and August with Annual production around 170 – 200 birds each year.

The captive breeding network in New Zealand consists of approximately 18 holders spread from Dargaville to Invercargil, made up of both private aviculturists, and zoological institutions, and done completely on a voluntary basis with no financial support given for the keeping or breeding of young. These dedicated individuals and institutions cannot be thanked enough for their ongoing work and dedication which without their support the reintroduction project would not be possible.

The achievement of the captive management goal will require a high degree of integration between the in situ and ex situ parts of the recovery program, and an acceptance by those involved with Brown Teal captive management that their contribution to Brown Teal recovery is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

Brown Teal being flock mated

Captive management has made a significant net contribution to future Brown Teal recovery, in spite of initial failures in the days when people didn’t realize the impact predators were having on the species. Captive Brown Teal have been shown to have a long productive life, and productivity can also be enhanced by management techniques such as multiple clutching.

The goal of the Brown Teal Captive Management Program is to maintain, manage and develop the Brown Teal captive breeding program to retain known genetic diversity, annually supply known quality birds for release in the quantities and at the times required by the recovery program, and to contribute to Brown Teal advocacy.

Within the first 32 years of Brown Teal captive breeding had resulted in 21.5 birds being released for every wild bird taken into the programme. In terms of numbers of birds available to be recruited into a wild breeding population, the captive population is more than 300% more efficient at producing these birds than are wild populations

Captive management has the potential to make a significant net contribution to the future of  Brown Teal recovery. Captive Brown Teal have been shown to have a long productive life, with one bird surviving for 22 years.

Pateke Partners Area

Pateke Partners Area