Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


The centre had a successful season with 43 whio from its crèche released onto central North Island rivers.

Date:  26 May 2017

DOC says 2017 was a very successful year for the Whio Hardening Facility at the Tongariro National Trout Centre with 43 of these nationally vulnerable birds passing through the creche before being released on rivers throughout the central North Island. 

Operations Manager Dave Lumley says 39 juvenile whio and two retiring breeding pairs were released into nine protected sites around the North Island where predator control is undertaken. The whio came from all over New Zealand, some travelling by plane all the way from Christchurch thanks to Air New Zealand. 

With mammalian pest species such as stoats and rats kept at low levels, wild whio populations bolstered by the captive breeding programme can start to grow in numbers. 

“This season has been the most successful yet for the whio and the facility as a result of the dedicated work of DOC staff, volunteers, iwi and community conservation groups such as the Central North Island Blue Duck Trust, Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro and Blue Duck Lodge”, he says. 

Genesis Energy and the DOC have partnered together to secure the future of this unique vulnerable native bird. Operating under the name of Whio Forever this partnership is fast tracking implementation of the national Whio Recovery Plan to protect whio and increase public awareness. 

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.  


Rebecca O’Sullivan, Community Ranger, DOC Taupō
Phone: +64 7 376 2535

Back to top