29 Apr 2013

Rare duck spotted in Abel Tasman National Park

8:50 pm on 29 April 2013

A rare native duck has been seen in Abel Tasman National Park.

The blue duck, or whio, has only been spotted twice in the past 20 years in the park at the top of the South Island.

A kayak guide was taking a group to the mouth of the Falls River when he saw and photographed the bird, which has been confirmed by the Department of Conservation as a whio.

It is estimated that just 700 pairs remain in the South Island.

The sighting has given new hope that a population of the bird may now be able to be established in Abel Tasman National Park.