If you walk close to the river bed you may see some whio (blue duck) in the river. Whio are now highly endangered due to predation and destruction of their habitat. They only live in fast flowing streams that have good insect life and good riverside vegetation. The whio on the Nina River receive some protection from predation from our trap lines that run along both sides of the river. In 2013, a group of five whio were seen at one section of the river, and we assume that this group was a breeding pair and three juveniles. This is the first time since the Nina Valley Restoration Group started its work that more than two whio have been seen in one spot, so hopefully our trapping regime is improving whio breeding success.
Similar to kiwi ONE, there is a breeding programme for whio, whereby their eggs are hatched and reared in captivity. This is called WHIONE. There are no WHIONE birds in the Nina at this stage. Currently we just monitor the resident whio by walking the river bed in early morning or late afternoon. Occassionally we employ a specialist dog handler to come in and look for whio. The Nina Valley is a good habitat for whio, and we hope that in the not-too-distant future people will be able to see whio along the full length of the river.dit.