Whio (Blue Duck) Puzzle with Habitat Image Tray
Below information is printed on the back of the tray for your reference:
Whio are endemic to New Zealand so are found nowhere else in the world. Their name depicts the call of the male bird. Whio have unique features such as streamlined head and large webbed feet to enable them to feed in fast moving water. The upper bill has a thick semicircular, fleshy 'lip' that overlaps the lower bill allowing them to remove insect larvae off the rocks. The Whio is a river specialist which inhabits clean, fast flowing streams. They are an indicator of healthy rivers and streams. Whio are well camouflaged to evade predators. Adults around are 530mm in height and males weigh between 1000-1200gm and females between 800-1000gm. Whio moult between December and May. They are mainly active during early morning and late evening periods, hiding during the day – some populations have adopted an almost nocturnal existence. They are flightless during the moult period which makes them extremely vulnerable to predators. They are rarer than some species of Kiwi. Whio are one of only three species amongst the world's other 159 waterfowl that live year round on fast-flowing rivers. They get all their food (consisting almost exclusively of aquatic insect larvae) from the fast moving rapids and riffles.
Whio require bouldery rivers and streams within forested catchments which provide high water quality, low sediment loadings, stable banks, overhead canopy cover and abundant and diverse invertebrate communities. With such habitat requirements, Whio are key indicators of river system health. The higher the number of breeding pairs of Whio on a given stretch of river, the greater the life supporting capacity of that river. Whio establish exclusive territories along 1-5 km of river. Strong pair bonding results in individual pairs occupying the same stretch of river year after year which they aggressively defend. The Whio have adapted to thrive in one of New Zealand's harshest environments. This environment is prone to catastrophic flood events which can wash away their food source and force them into side stream where they lose the water as their first defence. This unmanageable threat can have an extreme impact on breeding success from one year to the next which has been demonstrated to have had a significant impact on Whio populations throughout the country.
Whio feature on the $10.00 note.