The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation predator trapping programme commenced in 2005 and was wholly driven by founding member Ron Peacock, who sought funding from the Les Hutchins Conservation Foundation. That August large number of volunteers took part in laying out around 175 trap boxes in the Worsley valley, including the Castle side valley. The Nitz valley had around 45 traps in 2010, and the lower a mid Glaisnock commenced trapping in 2011. The last valley was the Lugar Burn in 2014, with approximately 90 traps (both sides of the river).
Ron acted as coordinator till 2008 when Glenn Matheson took over, followed by Chris Whyte around 2011. Ron briefly took on the role again before Paul Peychers & Chris Cameron picked up the role in June 2015 after Ron sadly passed away.
Southern Lakes Helicopters, ApparelMaster Christchurch, and Genesis Energy, through its Whio Forever Programme, have been major sponsors of the Whio program. Smeaton Construction, Placemakers Te Anau, Fiordland Water Taxis, Meridian Energy, Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park & Coghlans have also provided valuable assistance. We do 7 or 8 runs each season and incur significant costs. The Foundation is very grateful for this sponsorship as without it, there would be no program. Volunteers are essential to the FWF. There are many who contribute, often travelling significant distances to attend. Local Department of Conservation staff are very supportive of the programme and offer advice, track markers, tape, and track cutting staff when the Worsley and Castle tracks need attention. Track cutting occurs about every 3 years due to windfall and regrowth.
Maintenance on damaged or destroyed traps takes place when required. During the 2015-2016 season, approximately 20 replacement traps were required.
Trapping results are recorded on a Department of Conservation database. Each year, they diseminate information on the years activities with an annual report. The Worsley valley is part of the Northern Fiordland Whio Security Site. Whio security sites are nationally important sites for whio conservation. There are only 8 security sites nationwide. The Glaisnock/ Nitz/ Lugar Burn is a Whio Recovery Site. Recovery Sites are the next level down of importance for whio conservation. The Glaisnock/ Nitz/ Lugar Burn Recovery Site is viewed as one of the more important Recovery Sites nationally.