Duck (Mallard) Anas platyrhynchos
Species: A. platyrhynchos
Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos
Common Names: Mallard, Greenhead,
Mallards in New Zealand were derived from both European and American stock. In New Zealand they interbreed with Grey ducks, Anas superciliosa, and hybrids are common.
Birds of British game-farm stock were first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1867. Acclimatisation Societies made many liberations up to about 1918 but were not particularly successful until they were intensively bred from American stock and liberated in the 1930s and 1940s. Mallards have now become the most numerous of all water birds and are widely distributed from town ponds to outlying islands. The population has been as high as perhaps 5,000,000 but have declined in recent years due to farm runoff and avian botulism, something which has put the New Zealand Fish and Game Council at loggerheads with farmers.The birds are legally harvested in May during the duck shooting season, with the take controlled by daily bag limits for licensed hunters.
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