We’re marking over a decade of partnership with Genesis Energy on our Whio Forever Recovery Programme. The partnership started in 2011, when a bright idea sparked a phone conversation between Whio Recovery Group Leader, Andy Glaser and Genesis Energy Senior Environmental Ecologist, Cam Speedy. Both shared a vision to secure breeding sites, boost pest control efforts and prepare recovery sites across Aotearoa.
Since the start of the programme the number of breeding whio pairs has nearly tripled, from 298 pairs in 2011 to 863 in 2021. This couldn’t have been done without the partnership and the amazing mahi of community partners across the country.
“People make conservation happen, this is how we get things done,” says Andy, better known in the field as Captain Whio. “Looking at the growth in numbers of whio over the past 10 years is testament to that. Conservation is no easy task to take on alone, this partnership is a longstanding relationship that has built a foundation for delivering outstanding work.”
Cam agrees: “The power of partnership is in creating pathways for others to feel inspired and get involved.” The last decade has seen numerous community groups roll their sleeves up through setting up trapping lines and restoring native flora & fauna in their regions. Conservation action can be small and done at home, every bit counts, Cam adds. “Find a community group near you who are doing predator trapping – this is an essential part of protecting our treasured species.”
Consider the bigger picture too, he says. “When you flick the switch on in your house, think about where that energy is coming from. Being conscious and using less can help us save the planet. We all need to adopt a mindfulness approach in our everyday actions, we need to think about not only the benefits but also the consequences of our actions.”
Whio are a reminder of how we are treating Aotearoa’s environment as a whole, Andy reminds people. “Whio are indicator species, meaning that spotting whio in a river represents the health of all other species in the system. It’s about the wider benefits.”
Most of Genesis’ funding goes directly towards predator control with more than 5000 traps laid over the past decade. Almost 1700 kilometres of rivers are now protected, offering secure sites so whio can continue to thrive. If you’re keen to join the front line of whio conservation and advocacy, check-out our list of community partners here to find a group near you – https://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/whio-forever/about-whio-forever/whio-forever-community/