Whio protection in the Ruahine Ranges was first instigated in 2007, and through the efforts of multiple groups has grown to a network of over 1500 traps. The Ruahine Ranges are now recognized as one Recovery Site with the objective of protecting 50 pairs by 2020, with the long-term goal of protecting whio throughout the Ruahine Ranges. There is currently an estimated 30 pairs protected. This makes the Ruahine Recovery Site one of the most successful recovery sites in the country, and has been classified as an A-class Recovery Site by the Recovery Group. This is in recognition not only of the number of pairs protected, but also the importance of protecting the most southern North Island population and its genetic representativeness, as well as the strong community efforts driving the project. As such, it is a high priority for the Ruahine Collective to have local communities strongly identify with conservation values in the Ruahines, particularly with their support of the whio population.