News and Updates
Wednesday 17th May, 2017
The results of a recent paper by University of Otago researcher, Thomas Mattern, shows that it is vital our conservation effort continues or is even increased. We need all the support we can get to ensure the basic needs for hoiho in terms of habitat and terrestrial predator control are maintained at all sites across their geographic range.
Read the full article published in the Otago Daily Times here.
Tuesday 18th April, 2017
We are interested in talking to people about joining the Trust’s team as (1) a new trustee and (2) an emerging leader trustee (person aged 18 – 25). Both of these positions ensure the organisation is professionally managed, financially prudent, is a good employer and complies with strategic priorities.
All enquiries are welcome by phoning our General Manager on (03) 479 0011 or 021 488285
Applications close at 12noon Friday 28 April 2017.
Friday 31st March, 2017
Throughout the season, yellow-eyed penguin chicks have been uplifted from their habitat by our field team because they were under weight or their parents were injured. The chicks have been looked after by the team at Penguin Place and are now being released back into their habitats in accordance with our permit conditions.
Last week, 4 chicks were soft-released at Long Point in the Catlins and more chicks will be released in the coming weeks. Our field team stay on site with the chicks for up to 5 days, where they hand feed them in the morning, then open the gate of the pen and the chicks are free to head out to sea. These 4 have become 'Facebook famous' after a video of their first dive in to the sea was published on our Facebook page and has received over 2000 views. Check out the video below.
Friday 31st March, 2017
Yellow-eyed penguins have been gaining a lot of publicity around Dunedin and Otago over the past few weeks. Our Hoiho Hospital is now closed after another busy season and the 'good news' stories are abundant about hoiho which have been treated and then released back in to the wild.
Buster had previously been treated by vet Dr Lisa Argilla a few years ago in Wellington. He had to have his toe amputated, so Lisa knew exactly who he was when he appeared again at the hospital this year with a large shark bite to his abdomen. Buster has made the front page of the Otago Daily Times twice this season, with the most recent article being about his release on the Otago Peninsula. Read the article here.
Friday 24th February, 2017
February to April is any important time for yellow-eyed penguins as they go through the annual moult. It can be very dangerous for the penguins as they can be attacked by dogs.
If you see a distressed or injured penguin, please let us know or phone the DOC hotline 0800 362 468.
Wednesday 22nd February, 2017
Meet Dr Lisa Argilla. She's the vet heading up our Hoiho Hospital, based at the Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing, this Summer.
After noticing a large increase in the number of injured yellow-eyed penguins in 2015, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust sought funding to contract Lisa for 6 weeks to provide prompt medical care to the birds in Dunedin.
With a terrific success rate in 2016, we have again contracted Lisa to spend 6 weeks in Dunedin in early 2017. The hospital has seen almost 20 penguins through so far, with little chance of slowing down any time soon.
Lisa and her team of dedicated volunteers spend their days treating sick and injured penguins which come in from across coastal Otago and Southland.
Read all about Lisa and the work she is doing at the Hoiho Hospital in this Otago Daily Times article.
Friday 10th February, 2017
The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is on the hunt for a new Ranger to work in our reserves across coastal Otago and The Catlins. This position involves weed and pest control and penguin monitoring throughout the season.
As Ranger (Habitats), you will play a vital role in undertaking tasks to support the Trust's coastal conservation programme.
Tuesday 7th February, 2017
The Department of Conservation (DOC), Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and others have completed the annual yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho monitoring along the Otago and Southland coastline and estimate that there are 260 breeding pairs.
This number is still of concern given historically there were between 400-600 breeding pairs and the current number is a repeat of last year—the lowest for 25 years.
During the monitoring, some consistent issues were identified such as avian diphtheria in chicks and some unexplained adult deaths.
The avian diphtheria in young chicks is treated through the removal of lesions and supplementary feeding if required. However, the unexplained adult deaths require further investigation.
DOC’s Coastal Otago Operations Manager Annie Wallace says “a small number of dead adult yellow-eyed penguins have recently been found as part of regular penguin nest monitoring. This is not unusual for this time of year however we are mindful of the 2013 event where 67 adult penguins died, an event that only affected yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho adults. We are working with Wildbase of Massey University to determine the likely cause of these deaths. In the interim we are increasing the frequency of monitoring penguin sites”.
Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust science advisor Trudi Webster says “Because of the 2013 event, we are being proactive in collating environmental data and collecting several samples from the dead penguins for testing. We plan to use analysis of these results to compare to the 2013 event”.
In the meantime any penguin chicks who have lost their parents are taken to one of the rehabilitation centres along the Otago coastline for supplementary feeding and care until they fledge. Penguin chicks are due to fledge (go to sea) from mid-February so it is important that they are well fed and have a good body weight to ensure their survival.
The routine monitoring is an opportunity to also identify underweight adult birds which are then taken into rehabilitation for supplementary feeding before they enter their annual moult. This is a period where the penguins remain on land for approximately three weeks to shed their old feathers for a new set.
“Please call DOC’s Hotline on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468 if you come across yellow-eyed penguins along the Otago and Southland coastline and are concerned about their condition, describing as accurately as possible when and where the bird was found” says Annie Wallace.
Operational matters: DOC Coastal Otago Operations Manager, Annie Wallace, phone 027 499 5180
Technical matters: DOC Wildlife Vet & Wildlife Health Co-ordinator, Kate McInnes, phone 027 480 3365
Conservation or Science advice: Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust General Manager Sue Murray 021 488 285 or Scientist, Trudi Webster, phone 021 26444 32
Thursday 19th January, 2017
This week the Trust welcomed back specialist vet Dr. Lisa Argilla. We've contracted Lisa to provide hospital services, mainly for yellow-eyed penguins and other seabirds.
The next few months is a critical time for yellow-eyed penguin chicks who will start to fledge.
The first of Lisa's patients is a yellow-eyed penguin from the Catlins which two surfers noticed was injured and reported to us prior to Christmas.
Lisa's gained some publicity since arriving and you can read more below:
Wednesday 21st December, 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust.
Our office will close on Friday 23rd December and reopen on Monday 16th January.