Ruahine whio protector Janet Wilson is inviting the public to discover the Ruahine Forest Park.

The walk on March 29 is to celebrate whio awareness month.

Wilson and helpers will lead a short tramp to the Oroua River and explain the trapping work being carried out to protect the Ruahine whio (blue duck).

The Oroua is one of many catchments in the Ruahine Forest Park where whio are still found.

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The Ruahine trapping programme controls stoats, which are the main predator of whio, and also helps protect other Ruahine wildlife including brown kiwi and kaka.

The Ruahine Forest Park protects 94,000ha of forest and tussock lands stretching almost 100km from the Tararua River in the north to the Manawatū Gorge in the south.

As well as whio and kiwi, many other threatened species of plants and animals make their home in the Ruahine including giant carnivorous snails, tiny titipounamu (rifleman), and beautiful mistletoe.

The walk is family friendly but does require a lot of downhill walking to reach the river (which is uphill on the way home), so a medium level of fitness is required.

Participants need to bring boots and strong walking shoes, and be prepared for any sort of weather, including strong sun.

BYO lunch and morning tea for the walk which starts at 10am and finishes around 3pm.

If you would like to go, please contact jwilson@inspire.net.nz