Through funding of DOC’s biodiversity programme on the Great Walks Air New Zealand has helped to reintroduce three healthy whio/blue ducks back to the Routeburn Track.
The whio - a male and two females - were released in Mount Aspiring's Rock Burn valley, near the Routeburn Track. They were caught in nets earlier the same day near the Milford Track, and flown to the Rock Burn by helicopter.
The ducklings were about 10 weeks old, an age at which they normally leave their parents to find their own territories.
Whio are classified by Doc as ''Nationally Vulnerable'', with an estimated 2500 birds throughout the country.