Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 19 January 2012 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 4 | 19 January, 2012
Fiordland’s precious whio (blue
duck) population has been
given a hand to extend its range
into predator-controlled areas
of the National Park thanks
to a partnership between the
Department of Conservation and
Fourteen 10 to 11-week-old
wild whio, ready to fledge, were
captured by a team of DOC staff
and Real Journeys volunteers from
the Milford Track’s Clinton and
Arthur Valleys, which are home to
a good numbers of whio pairs, and
relocated to the Neale Burn, west
of the Eglinton Valley. The move is
part of a trial to help boost whio
numbers in areas under sustained
predator control that currently
have few resident whio.
DOC Biodiversity ranger Andrew
(Max) Smart said these birds
would have naturally dispersed but
may have gone into areas currently
not trapped, therefore increasing
the risk of predation from stoats.
By capturing these juveniles and
moving them to an area that is
trapped it is hoped that a majority
will remain, pair up and establish
their own territories.
“Stoats have been identified as
a major cause of decline in the
whio population” Mr Smart said.
“By transferring these birds to
the Neale Burn we are increasing
their chances of survival and also
potentially speeding up the time to
their first breeding attempt as they
can establish breeding territories
sooner,” he said.
“We don’t expect all of them to
stay there but hopefully most of
the females will stay put.”
But Mr Smart said such a move
would not have been possible
had it not been for Real Journeys,
which has been sponsoring whio
projects in Fiordland since 2005.
“Without their support it would
not have been possible to
undertake this work” Mr Smart
said. “Real Journeys have helped
us financially and also had staff
assist with surveying and the
As part of the Northern Fiordland
Whio Security Site, this area is
one of eight sites in New Zealand
established for the protection of
whio. The goal of each of these
sites is to achieve a population of
50 or more pairs of whio by 2017.
In northern Fiordland alone, more
than 163km of waterways are now
under sustained stoat control.
This area currently holds 44 pairs
of whio. The Neale Burn is one of
the few rivers with stoat control in
place that currently has low pair
numbers. The upper reaches of
the Neale Burn has only had stoat
control in place for a few years.
The trapping programme in the
Clinton began in 2000.
“This work has been ongoing since
2000 and it is great to see the
marked increase in whio over this
time,” Mr Smart said. “Working
in conjunction with sponsors and
community groups has been the
key to its success.”
In areas that do not receive
predator control whio numbers are
still in decline.
DOC and Real Journeys plan
to return to the area in two or
three months with a specially
trained dog and handler to survey
numbers and get a better idea
of how many of the whio have
embraced their new home.
Spreading their wings
The team catching young whio for transfer (from left) Chris Phillips and Glen
Greaves, from the Department of Conservation, Ginny Creak (obscured), of
Real Journeys, DOC staff Erina Loe, Andrew Smart and Amanda Christophers,
of Real Journeys. Missing from the photo is Kendra Hishon, of Real Journeys.
PHOTO: Barry Harcourt
Fourteen juvenile whio have been given a helping hand to find suitable new
homes within Fiordland.
PHOTO: Barry Harcourt
Meridian Energy has renewed
its White Hill Community Fund,
making $75,000 available
over the next three years to
communities in Mossburn,
Lumsden and Dipton.
The focus of the fund is to support
grass-roots community projects
that generate direct benefits
for the local community. It has
previously supported a diverse
range of projects, including
community pools, schools,
historical societies and volunteer
Dipton’s community pool will
continue its life as a valued town
asset after $1180 was granted by
the fund this year to help repair
Mossburn fire chief Lance
Hellewell said a grant of $5000
had helped buy a portable pump
to bolster equipment used by the
Mossburn Volunteer Fire Brigade.
“In emergency situations we
need to operate effectively and
efficiently. The new automatic
pump replaces our old hand-
pump, freeing up a pair of hands
for the many emergencies we
attend. Grants like this really
make a big difference for
volunteer organisations like us,”
Meridian White Hill Community
Fund panel member Jim Guyton
said he was delighted that
Meridian had renewed the fund.
“As a member of the panel I
am so proud of the quality of
applications we get from our
community and the success of
the projects we’ve supported,” he
“I can’t wait to see the next round
Meridian Wind Operations
Manager Mark Cockburn, who
chairs White Hill Community
Fund committee said the
model supported projects that
were genuinely needed in the
To find out more about the
White Hill Community Fund,
including how and when to apply,
Meridian extends White Hill grants scheme
A winner is drawn every week!
Drop in to Te Anau Subway to
register your birthday and be
entered into the draw when
your birthday arrives.
Don’t miss out !
HOW DO I ENTER ??
come and have
lunch on us!!
6” Sub & Drink
& your choice of either
2 cookies, 1 bag of chips or
1 bag of apples
For more info contact Diane Goodall,
ph: 03 217 2624
Winton A&P Association
21st January 2012
98th Annual Show
98th Annual Show
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