March is Whio Awareness Month! Our biodiversity rangers (and Conservation Dogs Beau and Max) kicked off the month with an epic mission in the Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Conservation Park to remove bands from whio in the Whirinaki River.
Thanks to a combination of trapping and aerial 1080, predator rates are managed and whio numbers are so high banding is no longer needed.
Working their way downstream from Central Whirinaki Hut to Vern’s Camp, the team captured, weighed, removed bands and pit tagged Whirinaki whio. By the end of the three days the team had counted 76 whio in this section of the Whirinaki river.
The good results can be attributed to the increasing number of adult breeding pairs in Whirinaki Forest and the support of Genesis, which through ongoing support is enabling us to double the number of whio breeding sites, boost pest control efforts and enhance productivity and survival for these rare native ducks.
If you want to get a glimpse of these rare ducks, the Whirinaki Forest is one of the best places in the world to see them. Try to get to the river early in the morning or late in the evening when who are most active.
Genesis has partnered with DOC to save New Zealand’s unique whio/ blue duck. Over ten years from 2011 extra funding and resources is being provided to fully implement the Whio Recovery Plan 2009–2019.