7 Oct 2014

Whio ducklings hatch in Hawke's Bay

8:12 pm on 7 October 2014

In a first for the season, ducklings of the endangered whio - also known as blue duck - have hatched in a predator-controlled area in northern Hawke's Bay.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has spotted two clutches, each with four wild whio ducklings, in a small creek in the Maungataniwha area.

The whio is found only in New Zealand and it's estimated there are only about 2500 left, because of predation by stoats and rats.

DoC ranger Andrew Glaser said there were 872 traps in the Maungataniwha area because of the predator problem.

"We have to protect them on our mainland rivers. Because they inhabit such a large area, of up to one kilometre per pair, we have to trap catchments, basically."