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BLUE DUCK STATION

CONSERVATION

 

Blue Duck Station has one of the highest concentrations of whio and kiwi in New Zealand not to mention wetas, native bats and fish. To help increase numbers of these and other native species we are improving their habitat by encouraging bush to regenerate, enhancing water quality and trapping predators. It is as recognition of this work that Blue Duck Station has been granted three Ballance Farm Environment Awards and a Department of Conservation Services to Conservation Award.

THE BLUE DUCK

Found only in New Zealand the blue duck, or whio as it’s called in Maori, is a unique and threatened species. A torrent duck the whio requires clear fast flowing water, like that of the Kaiwhakauka and Retaruke Rivers on Blue Duck Station, and approximately 15 of the remaining 1500 pairs can be found here.

 

Often heard before they are seen the blue duck has an unusual call; the male whistling ‘fi-o’ and the female making a harsh purring noise. In the sunlight you can see a number of colours on their feathers but in the main the duck is a slate blue grey that blends in perfectly with the river rocks. For more information on the blue duck check out the following websites:

The department of conservation

Genesis Energy and the blue duck

New Zealand Birds 

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Trapping
TRAPPING

We have approximately 450 traps around the station for stoats, weasels, ferrets, rats, mice and
hedgehogs; all enemies of the blue duck as well as other native species. In partnership with Kia
Wharite we maintain and reset a trapline every week; this is undertaken mainly by our volunteers or ‘eco-warriors’ as we call them. To see where our traps are and what we have caught in them check out our neat application on Google Earth. This application was designed by Bob Jordan and is maintained by his son Simon.

  1. download Google Earth onto your computer
  2. download our  Whakahoro Trap System  application.

Got a rodent problem and want traps for your property? Have a chat with our mates at Goodnature

WETA BOXES

We have installed a number of weta boxes around the station to encourage this cool native insect. The destruction of the weta’s native habitat and their vulnerability to predators such as cats, hedgehogs and rats has diminished their numbers over the years and the Department of Conservation now considers that 16 out of the 70 species are at risk.

We have both cave and tree wetas on the station and hope to increase their numbers by providing them with extra housing. The picture on the right is one of our more ‘luxurious’ weta homes. It has a glass panel inside so that, once opened, you can see the inhabitant.

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