Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

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Clinton9
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Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Clinton9 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:24 am

I am not really sure whether wild Mallard ducks are welcome or not in New Zealand

Since wild Mallard ducks were imported from USA in 1930s and bred & released in NZ, and since they hybridized with our native Grey ducks, while most people in NZ wants wild Mallard ducks to stay in NZ.

Our pure Grey ducks are endangered and are slipping toward extinction, through hybridizing with Mallard ducks.

One juvenile wild Mallard duck flew from NZ, to New Caledonia, in late 2000s

Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:56 am

I'm sure it depends on who you ask. Duck shooters will say definitely yes, I would say definitely no. I guess most people will fall somewhere between those extremes.
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby boneywhitefoot » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:41 pm

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Jake
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Jake » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:15 pm

I had a NZ Fish and Game magazine that had an in-depth article about the genetics of the New Zealand mallard. It was quite a surprise to find that American mallard made up only a tiny percent of their DNA; the vast majority was in fact English mallard. The explanation for this was that the eggs/stock came from America but the mallards, kept in captivity in America, were the easier-to-keep English birds that had been imported.

Australian mallards get shot in NZ and kiwi mallards get shot in Aussie. Canada geese and parries crop up there too.

I have a bit of a weird opinion on Mallards in NZ... Grey ducks won't survive as a pure species in the wild; we need to get them into captivity or managed somewhere (maybe even as a pinioned population, and be shooting mallards on site). The hybrid mallards that we have represent a huge amount of the original grey duck genome. Like how Neanderthal DNA has never been so abundant as it is today, those grey duck genetics will persist. It's a bit messy, but what can we really do?
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Jim_j » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:10 pm

Yep not much that can be done - hopefully DoC or Private Breeders can retain a few managed populations in captivity - maybe in the future some sort of strategy may be discovered?
Maybe a couple of these fenced sanctuaries could actively manage some small populations.
I presume mallard have mad it to the Chathams - does anyone know the status of the grey duck population there?

cheers
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:30 pm

Jake wrote:I had a NZ Fish and Game magazine that had an in-depth article about the genetics of the New Zealand mallard. It was quite a surprise to find that American mallard made up only a tiny percent of their DNA; the vast majority was in fact English mallard. The explanation for this was that the eggs/stock came from America but the mallards, kept in captivity in America, were the easier-to-keep English birds that had been imported.


A more simple explanation is that there were 17 introductions from England and only 2 from USA.

What can be done? I think they would be far easier to eradicate from NZ than ship rats, stoats, possums, and probably rooks.
They hybridize with 63 species and are likely to cause the extinction of many of them around the world, just as they are doing here with our greys. It is simply a human value issue here, as far as I can tell.
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Mallards unwelcome in New Zealand?

Postby Jake » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:47 pm

I'll need to get back into my book collection... Between 'Game Keepers for the Nation' and the mentioned F&G article my understanding was that mallards were not well established, and where present, were not increasing in number or expanding... until someone got stock from USA (which turned out to be primarily English blood anyway) and went about distributing thousands of eggs to Acclimatisation Societies and private breeders for subsequent hatching, breeding and release. I accept that correlation is not necessarily causation and that it would be helpful if I had my sources on hand; my apologies.

That's a very interesting and pretty fair point about the ability to eradicate them... it's very true but would not go down well with the general public
Clinton9
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Clinton9 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:15 pm

Only option is Mallard have protection removed and move to pest state same as for Canada geese and Spur-winged plovers, and our Grey ducks would be given the full protection and no longer a game specie anymore, at same state as for Grey teals.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Are wild Mallard ducks welcome in New Zealand ???

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:40 am

Jake, I'm going off nzbirdsonline liberation details, but I don't know how successful they were. I'm not sure how certain anyone could be. Most weeds/pests seem to have a long lag period before they take off.

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