Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae

Scientific Name: Anas aucklandica
Species Authority: (Gray, 1844)
Common Name(s):
English Auckland Teal, Brown Teal
Spanish Cerceta Alicorta de Auckland
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Taxonomic Notes: Anas aucklandica (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into A. aucklandica, A. chlorotis and A. nesiotis following Daugherty et al. (1999). No detectable genetic difference between populations from separate locations on the Auckland Island were detected from a study using minisatellite DNA markers (Lambert and Robbins 1995).

Identification information: 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).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Hitchmough, R. & Williams, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Martin, R, McClellan, R., Taylor, J.
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.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Vulnerable (VU)
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2006 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Not Recognized (NR)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: 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.

Countries occurrence:
New Zealand
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 42
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 42
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 7
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: 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.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 600-2000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 7 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: 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).

Systems: Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 6.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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 [top]

Conservation Actions: 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.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Anas aucklandica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22680280A48118566. . Downloaded on 08 October 2015.
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