Sarah gets up close to one of the inquisitive young whio in her care.
Image: Sarah Congdon 

Introduction

Sarah Congdon shares her experiences as 'Mother Duck' in the whio crèche at the Tongariro National Trout Centre.

Date:  28 April 2015

Volunteering with the Department of Conservation has been a great opportunity to kick start my career. Being a fresh graduate, I didn't really know what to expect. But I can say that working down at the Tongariro National Trout Centre in the hardening facility with the whio has been awesome!

Sarah inside the aviary with the whio.
Sarah inside the aviary with the whio

Having the chance to work with a native and endangered species is so special, let alone working alongside the Tongariro River, being outside carrying out animal husbandry duties, observations and educating the public as well as in the field and putting it all into perspective.......What's not to love?!

Cheeky and curious whio!
Cheeky and curious!

You also get to work with a great team of people that are willing to share all of their knowledge and experience with you, which is priceless. I learnt so much in the few months I was there.

Overall this has been a great opportunity that not only looks good on your CV but will give you an insight into what you want to do in the future. I would recommend volunteering with either DOC or the trout centre if you are looking to pursue a career in this field or just to gain a unique experience.

Sarah packing up her whio ready for their release.
Sarah packing up her whio ready for their release into the wild

I will certainly miss volunteering and my ducks after the release date. I would just like to thank the Biodiversity team and everyone else for being so welcoming.

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