Whio Forever Funded
The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation (FWF) established 26km of trap lines in the Worsley Stream and Castle River in 2005. These rivers are part of the Northern Fiordland Whio Security Site. The FWF is an organisation that promotes and educates the public about the only free range wapiti (elk) herd outside of North America. They also support a wide range of conservation projects including the stoat control project in the Worsley/Castle and the newly established stoat control projects in the Glaisnock Recovery Site and the DoonRiver. They also control red deer within Wapiti Area. This minimises the impact of red deer on the environment within the Wapiti Area and a plus for conservation.
Whio Supporters Without Whio Forever Funding
Real Journeys (www.realjourneys.co.nz)has been working in partnership with the Department of Conservation on whio conservation in Fiordland since 2005. Real Journeys have supported work around Whio Operation Nest Egg (Whione), translocations of wild whio juveniles, extending trapping networks and the monitoring programme. Real Journeys staff also help with field work , including whio river surveys, translocations and releases.
Trips & Tramps (www.tripsandtramps.com) has been operating small tours in Fiordland for over 20 years. They have been checking stoat traps in the Cleddau Valley (part of the Northern Fiordland Whio Security Site) since 2003. These traps are alongside the Milford Road between Homer Tunnel and Milford Sound.”
The Kepler Challenge Organising Committee (www.keplerchallenge.co.nz)entered into a partnership with DOC in 2006 to establish and maintain stoat traps around the length of the Kepler Track. Whio in the Iris Burn have benefitted from this trapping effort and have increased from one pair in 2006 to five pairs in 2013. A proportion of the fee to enter the Asics Kepler Challenge is set aside to cover the cost of maintaining these traps.
Wairaurahiri Jet (www.wjet.co.nz) operates a tourist jet boat service from Lake Hauroko down the Wairaurahiri River. This service run my Johan Groters and Joyce Kolk established, and maintain, a trap line down the Wairaurahiri River to protect the bird life in the area. Whio are currently in low numbers but it is hoped their numbers will increase through this trapping effort. Johan and Joyce have won a number of conservation awards for their efforts.”
The Wilmot Pass Road Users Group is responsible for 255 traps for stoats and rats along the Wilmot Road, West Arm, Spey River, Percy Pass and Deep Cove area of Fiordland. Since 2007 over 3,500 possums, 350 stoats and 420 rats have been removed from the Wilmot Pass area by this programme. Without this protection, kiwi, weka and whio may have been lost from the area and possum-vulnerable plants like mistletoe, may have disappeared. In 2014–2015 the focus of the project will be to maintain the current trapping services and upgrade the stoat trap network.
Dick Shefford has maintained the stoat traps along the Hollyford Valley Road for the past few years. Dick has also established and maintained 40 traps along the start of the Hollyford Track. The reason for Dick carrying out this work is that he wanted to hear more bird sounds in the valley. Whio have benefitted from Dicks efforts, with a number of pairs now established in the area that Dick maintains.
The NZ Alpine Club approached the Department of Conservation to see if they could assist with stoat trapping in the upper Hollyford and Gertrude Valleys, along with trapping part of the Bowen River in Milford Sound. The traps were established over the summer of 2011/12. The traps have been checked by the Hokonui Tramping Club, the Southland Tramping Club and the Fiordland Tramping and Outdoor Recreation Club.”
The Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust is a new independent entity set up to help Bring Back the Birdsong to the Routeburn and DartValleys and their tributaries. These valleys provide an ideal opportunity for both species protection and appreciation, building on the existing work of DOC and noting their significant use by tourism operations and their proximity to the populations base of Queenstown. The trust is comprised of a number of key Queenstown and Glenorchy tourism operators with an interest in the Routeburn and DartValleys, as well as local community members, Forest and Bird and Film Otago-Southland. The trust will fund biodiversity projects consistent with the vision. Projects will by necessity mostly involve pest control and species reintroductions and will be delivered primarily by third party contractors. Funds will initially mostly come from tourism operator customers who will be encouraged to donate beyond the price of their tickets, through commercial channels already in place and the trust website. Other funding sources such as the various community funding bodies may be targeted over time. The trust will advocate generally for biodiversity in these valleys through education, volunteer opportunities and appreciation projects when appropriate.
Friends of Flora (FoF) – Flora whio recovery site. Founded in January 2001, Friends of Flora (FoF) is a community group that believes our native fauna must be preserved for future generations, and it is our responsibility to make it happen here, now. The objective of the society is to implement, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, a conservation strategy to bring about the protection and/or return of endangered and threatened flora and fauna (including blue duck/whio) to the Flora Stream catchment area in Kahurangi National Park. This will enhance the experience for all visitors to this popular area, resulting in wider community appreciation and use of the Park.
Tapawera Community (Wangapeka/Fyfe Whio Security Site) – Volunteers from the Tapawera community, including students from Tapawera Area School, have been maintaining front-country trap-lines in the Wangapeka since 2009. The support from this community has been invaluable in successfully protecting breeding whio in the Wangapeka catchment.
The Paparoa Wildlife Trust (www.pwt.org.nz) works in partnership with the Department of Conservation to help protect whio in the South Eastern Paparoa Range, Westland. A small group of dedicated volunteers maintains 28km of trap lines in the Moonlight, Roaring Meg and Blackball Creeks to protect a small remnant population of whio in this scenic area. The objective is to re-establish a blue duck population in the PaparoaRange. To help reach this goal, whio eggs are harvested and taken to Peacock Springs for captive rearing and eventual release back to the wild. Eight juvenile whio have been released back to the site to date.