Value to the economy
As well as being an extraordinary bird in its own right, the yellow-eyed penguin is also economically valuable.
Eminent Australian economist Professor Clem Tisdell (University of Queensland) demonstrated the value of this penguin based tourism and other wildlife at the 2007 Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust 20th Anniversary Conference: “Almost an Island: Is Biodiversity Conservation Paying its Way? The social and economic benefits of conserving nature on Otago Peninsula” (http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/55104/2/WP145.pdf)
He calculated that nature-based tourism relying primarily on the yellow-eyed penguin returned $100 million annually to the Dunedin economy. A single breeding pair of yellow-eyed penguins could be worth $60,000.
The Trust has joined forces with local Otago Peninsula nature-based tourism operators, to argue the case for action on the issue of penguins and fisheries interactions. We have recognised that the conservation of this endangered New Zealand icon is a joint concern.