Ranger Krysia Nowak, who organises the free whio fun day event held to celebrate Whio Awareness Month, says it’s a light-hearted way to raise awareness of the nationally vulnerable whio.
“Whio Whānau Fun Day is an opportunity to learn about the interesting things that make whio unique, connect with local conservation groups, and have a great day out.
“Conservation activities, an obstacle course, face-painting, and a rubber ducky race are all part of the day’s entertainment in the heart of whio territory.”
Krysia says, “The greater Central Plateau has some of the most productive whio habitat in the country, and Tūrangi has the privilege of being the closest town to wild whio. With less than 3000 whio surviving, this proximity is something to be proud of. Tongariro National Trout Centre also plays a part in the ‘breed-for-release’ programme, providing a safe place for juvenile ducks to adapt to conditions before being released into the wild. What better place to celebrate Whio Awareness Month?”
Whio Awareness Month aims to bring attention to the plight of this taonga species, and how it can be protected from key threats – stoats and habitat loss. Genesis and DOC partner to run extensive trap networks and conservation activities and communities can help by getting involved in trapping or spreading the word about whio.