2 Feb, 2018 5:30am
A pair of endangered whio have just landed at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs.
The breeding pair of native blue ducks were welcomed by Ngāi Tahu Tourism, owner of Rainbow Springs, which is thrilled to have them.
This is the first time the attraction has had whio in residence.
Whio are found only in New Zealand, and are rarer than some species of kiwi.
They are classified as endangered, with an estimated population of 2000 to 3000 birds.
The pair have come from the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust in Peacock Springs, Canterbury, and will be housed in a large aviary with kaka and sacred kingfishers.
Rainbow Springs wildlife programme manager Mark Paterson said it was exciting, not just for Rainbow Springs, but for all of Rotorua.
"These are so rare, you never get to see them. For me, what's most exciting is having the opportunity to contribute to conservation of the species.