"The big news is that we have a Whio pair with six ducklings on the Rangitikei River. I have never seen ducklings on the Rangitikei River in my almost 40 years of rafting. We have been viewing them for a couple of weeks now. No ducklings have been lost in that time. Very exciting stuff! A line of A24 traps protects this particular section of the river. The mahi is paying off!"
A good number of early season sightings reported from all over the Ruahines but so far these are the only ducklings. Still early days.....
Due to popular demand, the RWP Trust has produced another calendar. The photos were taken and donated by volunteers with the calendar printed locally. The cost is the same as last year at $20 plus any postage. They are available at Turners Sports in Feilding or by contacting Janet Wilson email@example.com
One Hell of a Summer.....!
On the 13th February Cyclone Gabrielle struck much of the North Island. Some of the heaviest rain landed directly over the Ruahines......on land already sodden from high spring /summer rainfall
But along with the bad there is plenty of good. Many thanks to those who have provided updates for this newsletter.
Ruahine Whio Protectors Collective Annual Hui - River Valley Lodge 20-21 August 2022
There was an excellent turnout for the annual RWP Collective's hui held in August at the lovely River Valley Lodge, right beside the Rangitikei River. For the first time we extended the invitation to those involved with Kiwi Conservation in the Ruahines. Groups represented included Aorangi O Awarua Trust, volunteer led trapping projects, Save the Kiwi, Cape Sanctuary, DOC, Good Nature and two Jobs for Nature projects. Thanks to everyone who attended and made the meeting successful - it was great to see some new faces and feel the passion for the Whio and Kiwi. Special thanks to the team at River Valley for making us so welcome and for the fabulous food, accommodation and the new meeting room.. Thanks also to the volunteers who came at their own expense and to DOC for providing a subsidy that offset some of the volunteers meal expenses.
Whio in the Manawatu Gorge Local kayaker Harley Betts recently spotted a lone WHIO in the river below the Manawatu Gorge (yes - that is the road between Manawatu and Hawkes Bay) in the vicinity of the large slip (yes the one that closed the road!) Where has it come from and where is it going to? Maybe another lone bird heading for the Tararuas?
WHIO AT CENTRE CREEK POHANGINA
Hunters recently spotted a pair of whio near Centre Creek - well down the Pohangina River and getting closer to the park Boundary. I am not aware of a sighting that far down the river for many years now.
A24s DAMAGED BY POSSUMS
Slightly old news now as this one made it to TV3. Clever possums have worked out how to get the new "chirp" caps off the A24's to get to the lure! Read more in Anthony Behrens project update.
SKINK SIGHTINGS OVER SUMMER
Peter Bird (DOC) and some hunters have reported seeing skinks over the summer - maybe the very hot weather brought them out more. Read on to see more from Pete.
Kiwi confirmed at Maropea forks hut Trampers Carl Knight and Mike Parr, camping near the hut at Maropea Forks recently confirmed the presence of kiwi. “based upon sound and proximity of sounds (plural) that the male kiwi calls and scuffling/grazing sounds, I think got within three of meters of my bivi site.”
Dates for next whio collective hui August 20-21 River Valley Lodge - to those who regularly attend or if you are interested mark this in your diary.
Welcome to the 11th RW News - a slightly overdue update of what's new and what's been happening to help protect Whio in the Ruahines in recent times. Two new projects are underway on the Eastern side of the ranges so plenty of interest - I hope you find the time to enjoy catching up
The Ruahine Whio Protectors Collective held it's annual hui in late September. For the second year in a row we gathered at River Valley Lodge, east of Taihape right on the Rangitikei River. The date was later than usual, due to another Covid lockdown in August. We were again made very welcome at this lovely venue by Brian Megaw and his family. Whio are sometimes seen on the river nearby so we feel very much at home here. Thanks from everyone from the River Valley team for their excellent hospitality and wonderful food and to
everyone else who contributed by being there and making this meeting a success. It was a slightly smaller group than in recent times, due mostly to uncertainty over the dates and Covid. Once we had gathered we formed a Whio Whanau bubble and were able to take our masks off.
There was plenty of talk and
presentations. Much has been going on since we last met
including 2 projects starting up on the eastern side of the Ruahines -read on to learn more. If you would like to see the record of the meeting let me know.
This project in the northern Ruahine range aims to support wildlife recovery in both the back country and front country - along the forest park-farmland boundaries and streams that flow from the Ruahine. The vision is to further protect the wildlife, expanding the traplines as juveniles fledge into unprotected stream catchment areas. A major part of the vision is to reconnect Maori, both hapu and rangitane members back to the whenua. The link takes you to the Mauri Oho website.
A bunch of well scrubbed up fellow trappers with Janet, Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne to receive her QSM at Government House.