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Whio whistling along Waiwhakaiho River

Recently our Pou Whakakori Te Poihi Campbell spent the day along the Waiwhakaiho River on Te Papakura o Taranaki searching for whio / blue duck. He shares what he saw that day.  

The whio population on Mounga Taranaki is flourishing with a number of these healthy native blue ducks not only taking permanent residency on the Waiwhakaiho River, but are now settling on neighbouring waterways.

Every year around February DOC Biodiversity Ranger Joe Carson and her conservation dog, and champion super sniffer of whio, Tai search cautiously on this swift flowing waterbody, looking for whio on and under overhanging rocks and boulders, under overgrowing trees near the water’s edge, on the water and also in amongst fallen debris washed down for the upper region of the mounga.

We saw more than 20 whio that day, many are paired up with a few singles looking for a mate.

This survey route followed the Waiwhakaiho River from the edge of the national park ring plain up to the swing bridge, a five kilometre rocky riverbed commanding reverence and respect.

If you see whio on your hikoi on the mounga, give DOC Taranaki a call on (06) 759 0350, they will love to hear from you.

Check out the Taranaki Mounga Project website for more information about the restoration work happening on our tūpuna mounga.

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