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Governor-General To Release Rare Blue Ducks

Governor-General To Release Rare Blue Ducks

The Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright will take time out from walking the Milford Track next week to release three rare Blue Duck chicks into the wild.

Dame Silvia will release the four-month old chicks at Clinton Valley on Wednesday, 5 March, the second day of her walk.

The Blue Duck (Whio), one of New Zealand's ancient endemic species, is currently listed as a 'Category B' priority for conservation action, and a Department of Conservation Recovery Plan is currently in action. DOC spokesman Murray Willans says Blue Ducks are "very rare and could disappear in our lifetime".

Government Public Affairs Officer Stefan Wolf said Dame Silvia was looking forward to the release of the Blue Ducks. "Dame Silvia is very pleased to highlight the excellent work of the Department of Conversation in the preservation of this important native species."

Mr Wolf said Dame Silvia would turn her attention to a different type of native wildlife later in the week when she would open the 2003 Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika on Saturday.

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