ENDEMIC. CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. RESIDENT.
DISTRIBUTION: Only found on Dent Island in the Campbell Islands group, although it was on the main island before European arrival. Captive and semi-captive 'recovery groups' exist elsewhere in New Zealand.
HABITAT: Natural habitat is dense tussock land with large herbs and some smaller shrubs. Petrel and shearwater burrows in the peaty soil are often used for shelter. Water channels and small pools allow for movement and food gathering.
FOOD: Natural foods include crabs and sandhoppers caught along the shoreline, as well as weevils, beetle larvae, worms, snails, seeds and small plants.
CALL: Calls are of two main types, a high pitched staccato call when alarmed or when defending territory, and a soft repetitive hissing.
GENERAL: Thought to be extinct until 1975 when a population was discovered on tiny Dent Island, where about 25 pairs currently exist. One of the world's rarest ducks with a total population under 100 birds. They are flightless and mostly nocturnal. When disturbed they run rapidly with their necks stretched forward and their bodies hunched. The New Zealand Conservation Trust and Willowbank are taking part in a breeding plan to try and save this species from extinction.