Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


North: Whio Fledglings | Southern Whio Affected by Flood

Media release

Thursday 28th February 2013

Record Whio Fledglings In The North, Southern Whio Affected By Floods

It’s been a bumper breeding season for the whio, New Zealand’s threatened species of native duck that are only found in fast flowing waters.

Featured on New Zealand’s $10 note and with an estimated nationwide population of less than 2500 birds, whio are rarer than kiwi, but a partnership programme between Genesis Energy and DOC is turning the tide and having a positive effect on the numbers of whio throughout the country.

March is Whio Awareness Month and there are whio related activities planned throughout the country culminating with whio family fun days at Auckland Zoo on March 24 – 25th.

A number of captive bred whio juveniles will be released during whio awareness month at Wangapeka River catchment in Nelson Marlborough, the Tongariro River at the Tongariro National Trout Centre in Turangi, the Whakapapanui Stream in the Tongariro National Park and the Manga-nui-oTe-Ao River in the Whanganui area.

DOC Whio Recovery Group Leader Andy Glaser says whio are the icons of the waterways as they live on fast-flowing rivers. So finding whio means you will also find fresh, fast-flowing water with a good supply of plants and underwater insects.

“This makes whio important indicators of ecosystem health – they only exist where there is quality fresh water and an abundance of life, so it is really important that we not only protect them but we also help build their numbers.”

And that is exactly what DOC and Genesis Energy have been doing with local community groups and volunteers around the country.

Andy says the whio programme has been achieving success with the North Island whio security sites reporting record numbers of whio fledglings this season.

The 153 breeding pairs at the four security sites have fledged a record 229 fledglings. The previous best was last season with 177 fledglings reported.

The Tongariro Forest security site reported fledging 177 juveniles, an incredible success attributed to the effective predator control operations and the long term work and support of adjacent landowners, the Animal Health Board, the Central North Island Blue Duck Conservation Trust and Genesis Energy. Prior to predator control operations starting a typical breeding season would produce around 20 whio ducklings in the Tongariro Forest area.

After a number of poor breeding seasons the Whirinaki Forest security site reported 13 breeding pairs fledging 27 juveniles this season, which was another great result says Andy. “In Te Urewera there was a turnaround in breeding on the Tauranga River. It’s great to see a positive response to the predator trapping programme with DOC200 traps along that river.”

Andy says unfortunately flooding and slips in the south island has had a major impact on the southern whio with around 100 breeding pairs across the four southern security sites that fledged only 27 fledglings this season. But a further 15 WHIONE juveniles have been released in the southern waters.

There are also indications of breeding success at some of the whio recovery sites around the country with Egmont National Park reporting 21 whio pairs fledging 25 juveniles, and recently releasing a further 10 WHIONE captive bred juveniles.

Genesis Energy and the Department of Conservation have partnered together in a five year programme to secure the future of this threatened native bird. Operating under the name of Whio Forever this partnership is implementing a national recovery plan to protect whio breeding areas and habitat.
The support of Genesis Energy is enabling DOC to double the number of fully secure whio breeding sites throughout the country, boost pest control efforts and enhance productivity and survival for these rare native ducks.

Click for big version.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Countdown, And Mary Margaret O’Hara

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news