The Whio (Blue Duck) is an highly endangered species of duck only found in NZ. 10 years ago we started a long term project to increase their numbers.

The Blue Duck Charitable Trust was established in 2008 by owner Tongariro River Rafting owner Garth Oakden and other local business owners.

The goal was to increase the number of Blue Duck (Whio) pairs on the Tongariro and other Central North Island rivers, by eradicating pests that are threatening their population. With the national population under 3000, we need to do what we can to save this endemic species.

The trust have established trapping lines that stretch 42kms along the banks of North Island Rivers including the Tongariro and Whakapapa Rivers. Initially they used the high maintenance DOC 200 traps. Now a combination of DOC 200 traps and Goodnature automatic traps are used. The automatic traps require less work as they can reset themselves up to 24 times. In 2008 it was estimated that there were only three pairs of Blue Ducks on the Tongariro River. That number now sits at around 30 pairs.

Tongariro River Rafting are dedicated to supporting the trust and all the work that they do. Garth is the chairman of the trust and we are always trying to come up with new innovative ways to support the project.

Tongariro River Rafting and The Blue Duck was the subject of a new item on ‘Seven Sharp’. Watch the video which tells the story of the project here.