Tag Archives: Tadorna sp. Chatham Islands

Tadorna sp. ‘Chatham Islands’

Chatham Island Shelduck (Tadorna sp.)

The Chatham Islands once harbored a set of endemic bird species that were closely realted to those on the New Zealand main islands, yet distinct enough to be considered distinct species, the same applies to this duck species, which is known from subfossil remains and which has not yet been described.

The closest relative of the Chatham Island Shelduck were the Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides(Jardine & Selby)) from Australia and the Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata (Gmelin)) which is endemic to New Zealand (see photo).

The Chatham Island Shelduck probably disappeared soon after the Chatham Islands were discovered and settled by humans. [1]



[1] Trevor H. Worthy, Richard N. Holdaway: The Lost World of the Moa, Prehistoric Life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2002


Paradise Shelduck (left); Australian Shelduck (right)

Depiction from: ‘John C. Phillips: A Natural History of the Ducks. Boston; Houghton Mifflin Company; 1922-1926’  

(public domain)


edited: 13.09.2020