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Fantastic Whio

Whio are nifty native ducks. You may have seen a picture of one on a $10 note! These rapid-running birds need fast-flowing, clean rivers to thrive, so they’re an excellent indicator of a healthy river. If you see whio on a river or stream, the water is likely to be in a very healthy state. 

Whio are a threatened species, with only around 3,000 left in the wild. In some places around Aotearoa there are groups of volunteers giving whio a helping hand to ensure their survival.

Rafting on the Tongariro River, while looking for whio blue ducks

In 2018 we travelled to Tūrangi, on the southern shores of Lake Taupō. Climb aboard for a rafting experience on the Tongariro River and look for whio.

Ponder this

Consider the following questions. You could talk about your ideas with your favourite people at home or online.

  1. How many predator traps do the Blue Duck Project look after? How many kilometres of the Tongariro River do they trap? 
  2. What are the three main predators for whio on this part of the Tongariro?
  3. What are some ways you could help the plants and animals living in, on, and around freshwater environments?
  4. What does this video make you wonder about a freshwater river or lake near your place?


Toilet duck whio

Try this KCC activity and make a model whio out of an old toilet duck bottle! 

Whio Forever

Try this colouring sheet or make a whio mask from the Whio Forever website.

Ask an adult to post a picture of your craftiness on Instagram. Use the hashtags #learnztrips, #whioforever, or email a photo to LEARNZtrips. Tell us about your discoveries and creations. 

We’ll share some of your images on our Instagram space @learnztrips.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the values and importance of freshwater. Consider the threats to our freshwater environments and how you could help.