Whio, commonly known as Blue Duck, are highly endangered, threatened by predation – mainly by stoats - and loss of habitat. This is a localised species holding territories on fast-flowing mountain rivers in forested areas.
Classified as ‘endangered’ by the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN) and as ‘nationally vulnerable’ by DOC, the whio – named for the high-pitched whistle made by the male - has been severely impacted by exotic predators such as stoats.
Once widespread throughout New Zealand’s back-country rivers, the whio population is now severely fragmented and chick counts are falling.
We are involved in establishing secure breeding areas for the whio populations of both the Maungataniwha Native Forest and Pohokura.
These are not captive breeding programmes. They’re about encouraging whio to call our properties home because they’re safe places to live and breed.