The only Brown Teal to officially reach an overseas destination were imported to England by London Zoo in 1934, from this stock the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust received a female in 1949 and two pairs direct from New Zealand in 1957. From these the first captive reared Brown Teal, outside New Zealand, were reared in 1960 when three Brown Teal were reared. Good numbers were reared from 1960 to the late 1970’s when a lack of new blood resulted in only three males surviving.
In 1979 two females were sent to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust under a joint NZ Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited NZ project. Since then the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust has reared good numbers and pairs have been distributed to other WWT centres and to private aviculturists, in the UK, Germany and South Africa.
Investigations in May 2002 have revealed that one private aviculturist in the UK has reared ninety Brown Teal during a fifteen year period – a very significant contribution. This breeder remains as enthusiastic as ever.
Being the only Brown Teal outside of New Zealand the birds held in the UK, and elsewhere in the world, may eventually form a critical part of the species survival. Not to mention the current publicity outlining the plight of what is one of the world’s most interesting and delightful species of waterfowl.
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