Important notice: Earthwise Valley closed in 2010 due to the unexpected passing of one of its founders. This site is maintained as-is in tribute to the many volunteers who lent their time and energy to the Valley.

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Endangered Duck breeding in Earthwise Valley

In February 2009, ELFNZ built a dam and pond in Earthwise Valley. Early on in the project, we noted an area of low-lying land which is ‘boggy’ in Winter but dries out in Summer. We decided it was perfect wetland habitat and created a body of static freshwater would be a blessing to local wildlife. Environment Waikato approved of the work.

Volunteers created the formwork and laid concrete to secure a “hockey stick” outflow pipe under the dam and then an earth-mover deposited a large body of clay to build the drivable dam and contain the pond. Read story here. This created a shallow pond and over Winter this area fulled with water and native reeds grew like crazy. We’ve seen herons, kingfishers and more recently pukeko have bred producing several chicks. But last week was a great surprise – an endangered Pakete has been found, with 5 ducklings!! The Pakete, or Brown Teal Anas chlorotis is endemic to New Zealand and is one of the World’s rarest ducks – being less than 1000 individuals remaining. It is classed as “endangered – a class A species” on the IUCN Red List.

The presence of these birds in Earthwise Valley is a tribute to the extensive pest control that has suppressed predator numbers in the Northern Coromandel over past years. We’re proud to have created habitat suitable for Pateke and hope they flourish in our area!

Click the image below for an expanded photograph.


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