Story: Wetland birds

Finsch’s duck

Finsch’s duck

Finsch’s duck is one of 15 wetland bird species that have become extinct since humans settled in New Zealand. It was twice the weight of its nearest relative, the Australian wood duck, and its small wings suggest it was almost flightless. Bone deposits show it was one of the most abundant waterfowl. The Finsch’s duck was extinct by the 17th century, probably from a combination of human hunting and predation of eggs and chicks by kiore (the introduced Pacific rat).

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Artwork by Paul Martinson

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Wetland birds - Wetlands and their birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 January 2022)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015