Genesis and DOC joined forces back in 2011 to create a whio recovery programme with the aim of securing eight whio breeding sites, boosting pest control efforts and enhancing the survival of whio nationwide.

    Genesis and DOC joined forces back in 2011 to fast-track the Whio Recovery Plan. The plan entails securing eight whio breeding sites, preparing various recovery sites and boosting pest control efforts to enhance the survival of whio nationwide.

    The partnership has been incredibly successful having more than doubled the number of breeding pairs from 298 pairs in 2011 to 725 in 2019. It has done this by protecting more than 1,500 km of river with 5,080 traps. In addition, awareness of the plight of whio and its importance to our native ecosystem has grown significantly through active advocacy campaigns including Whio Awareness Month in March and during Conservation Week.


    The success of the Whio Forever programme comes down to the collective partnership approach taken by DOC and Genesis. By working together, focusing on common aspirations, and sharing resources, knowledge and expertise, the partnership has created a solid foundation from which to grow whio numbers in the wild.

    This work is supported generously by countless volunteers, community groups, iwi and schools who trap for whio, and wildlife organisations that run breed-for-release programmes to boost whio numbers.

    The Whio Governance committee is made up of representatives from Genesis, DOC and Forest & Bird who manage the funding provided by Genesis. Staff from their respective teams are also involved in the technical and communication/advocacy sub-committees.

    Whio Forever predator control

    Effective trapping of stoats and other introduced predators is the best method to ensure whio survive and thrive.

    Prior to human settlement and the introduction of predators, whio thrived on waterways from the mountains to the sea throughout New Zealand. Today, they are mostly restricted to the security and recovery sites protected by predator trapping programmes aimed at stoats, ferrets, and feral cats. These introduced predators prey on nesting females, steal eggs, and take young ducklings from the river’s edge.

    Whio Forever focuses on trapping predators to lower pest numbers. We have invested in more than 5,000 traps along over 1,500 km of healthy fast-flowing rivers. Lower predator numbers are not only bringing whio back from the brink of extinction, but also enabling other species to thrive.

    We couldn’t achieve this without the mahi of many people who volunteer who trap predators to conserve native wildlife in their rohe.

    Traps Whio Forever uses:

    • DOC 200 traps are a powerful tool, designed to kill rats and stoats. It can be used as either a single or double trap with the same lure.
    • A24 Self Resetting traps made by Goodnature are designed to kill rats and stoats. They are powered by a CO2 canister, and designed to trigger 24 times before needing replacing.
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