The near extinction of whio in the Flora Stream was a catalyst for the formation of FOF. Whio especially incubating females are extremely vulnerable to predation by introduced stoats. By the year 2000, whio numbers in the Flora catchment had dropped to two lone males. Re-establishing a sustainable population of whio was one of our initial goals. Reducing stoat numbers to low levels was a pre-requisite and, with this achieved, reintroduction of whio could commence.
In 2004, ten captive-raised young birds were released into the Flora catchment in an attempt to restore the population. Six birds did not adapt well and died from starvation. The reason was thought to be a combination of young, captive-raised birds being insufficiently prepared for life in the wild and a particularly harsh winter in the high altitude of the Flora Stream. The four survivors were returned to captivity and then released into the Rolling River in January 2005. Following their second release, these birds maintained good condition and successfully raised young.
In February 2006 DoC translocated a wild-raised, two month old, female duck into the Flora. At this age, whio are just about to start flying. The timing, it was hoped, would permit the duck to become accustomed to its surroundings by the time it could fly, and it would decide to stay. The plan worked, the introduced female paired with a wild male and in 2007 they fledged three young whio. These were the first whio successfully fledged in the catchment in 12 years.
Over the next two years, DOC translocated further whio into the Flora which successfully bred. Now four or five pairs breed along the Flora Stream and they have populated the surrounding creeks and its tributaries. Whio are found in Deep Creek and throughout the Grecian River. This has been a huge success.
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The Blake Ambassadors is a programme run by the Sir Peter Blake Trust that sends young people to work on environmental and heritage projects. Natalie de Burgh, is currently working in your Flora project area. She is recording her experiences on a blog: Click here
12 kiwis translocated from South Gouland to the Flora area.
Ecological surveys of the Salisbury Ecological Management Unit with joint DOC/FOF teams
Mar & April 2013
12 kiwis translocated from New Creek with another 8 kiwi released from the Upper Roaring Lion in April. See the pictures on our facebook page
Our first kiwi chick is born.
National Radio Interview with Maryann Ewers & Bill Rooke, founders of FoF.
Man prosecuted for taking his dog into the Flora area, endangering the kiwi.
10 years of Friends of Flora celebrated.
Helen Clark, becomes Patron of Friends of Flora.
Friends of Flora and DOC Motueka release 12 adult kiwi into the Flora. Read the monthly updates.
Friends of Flora and DOC Motueka release whio into the Flora. Read annual whio survey data.
Friends of Flora was founded.