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12 surprising flightless birds

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on June 2, 2017, 11:34 a.m.
For these teals, escaping from predators means taking to the water, not to the air.

Photo: Stomac/Wikipedia

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Campbell teal

There are two species of flightless teal, including the Auckland teal and this species, the Campbell teal. These little dabbling ducks are nocturnal, and come out at night to feed on insects and amphipods. They were once found on Campbell Island, their namesake, but were driven to extinction after Norway rats found their way to the island. After a population was discovered on another island, the species was listed as critically endangered and conservationists worked for decades to create a successful captive breeding program.

In 2003, a massive effort was made to clear Campbell Island of rats and other pests, and in 2004, 50 Campbell teals were released there, marking the return of the species after an absence of nearly 100 years. Since then, the Campbell teal has settled in and though it remains listed as endangered, its return to its home island gives great hope for the species.