Anas aucklandica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Anas aucklandica
Species Authority: (Gray, 1844)
Common Name(s):
English Auckland Teal, Brown Teal
Spanish Cerceta Alicorta de Auckland
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).

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.

2012 Vulnerable

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.

New Zealand
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).

Population Trend: Stable

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

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. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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