Date: 08 September 2009
You don’t have to be seasoned conservationist to enjoy the treasures ‘mother nature’ has to offer, you can celebrate New Zealand’s unique wildlife, natural areas and historic places right in your own ‘backyard’ during Conservation Week, 13 – 20 September 2009.
The Ruapehu Area programme commences with an Open Day on Saturday 12 September 2009 at the DOC Ohakune Field Centre from 9.30am.
Conservation Week at Ruapehu
The theme for the day is ‘Get Involved with Whio’ and is an opportunity to learn about this very unique blue duck that lives in the rivers and streams in and around Tongariro National Park.
“Blue ducks (whio) live in one of the most challenging environments in the world - a fast flowing river. They are white-water specialists and are perfectly adapted to this environment. Unlike most ducks, the blue duck does not quack, it prefers to whistle hence its maori name, whio” said DOC Blue Duck Team Leader, Alison Beath.
Both Alison and blue duck ranger Dean Flavell will be available throughout the day to talk to the public about the challenges and rewards of monitoring blue duck and provide insight into this very private bird’s life.
Ranger Dean is also providing the opportunity for people to build a stoat trap at the Open Day. “If we get 12 stoat traps built quickly, we will strive to set up a trap line at the end of the day. We will provide information about how well the trap line is doing to those interested” said DOC Ranger, Aniwa Tawa. Other activities at the open day include a one-hour hike through the Mangawhero forest, learning about river water quality, making flax novelties, face painting and animal balloons for the children. The Ohakune Visitor Centre will be open throughout the day and we hope to be able to show some of our ‘Meet the Locals’ DVDs.
“If the weather is unsuitable, the open day will be cancelled. Cancellation notices will be announced on Aerial FM” said Ranger Aniwa Tawa.