News and Updates
Friday 14th July, 2017
Thursday 13th July, 2017
The killing of two nesting penguins has devastated the people who tried to keep them safe.
The bloodied bodies of the little blue penguins, a protected species, were found on Sunday near the nesting box volunteers had made for them on the coastline of Whitireia Park, Porirua.
Robyn Smith, a member of the park's restoration group said, despite the boxes being in an on-leash dog walking area, it appeared a dog had knocked the lid off the box and mauled the birds, breaking their necks.
The birds were the first to take up residence in one of the 10 boxes built in 2012, an "absolutely gutted" Smith said.
"We were extremely excited one of our boxes were finally being used. We had given up hope that they would ever home any penguins."
The birds bred successfully on nearby Mana Island and volunteers wanted to provide a safe place on the mainland.
"We naively thought the little blues would be safe in the park in their boxes."
Department of Conservation operations manager Jack Mace said the penguins' deaths followed at least two other recent attacks around Wellington Harbour.
"The greatest tragedy of these deaths is that the penguins had only just moved into the nest boxes."
Dogs were the greatest threat to the penguins species - the world's smallest - whose population is classified as 'At Risk, Declining' by DOC, Mace said.
"There are only 5,000 – 20,000 mature individuals nationally, and their numbers are predicted to be declining at a rate of 10-30 per cent."
Dog owners were required by law to ensure their dogs does not injure or cause distress to wildlife and other animals, he said.
"Even the most loving and well-trained dog is capable of killing a kororā [Little Blue Penguin] in seconds. Dog owners need to be vigilant so we can safely share our cities with native wildlife.
Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust operator Craig Shepherd said penguins, and any flightless bird, were at risk from dogs.
"They're the proverbial sitting ducks and if it was a dog that killed them it will be killing others."
Greater Wellington Regional Council parks manager Amanda Cox said the park had signs reminding people to keep dogs under control.
"Given what has happened we are actively considering more signage – not just to alert dog owners to the potential presence of penguins, but also to build broader awareness so that visitors can both appreciate them and leave them undisturbed."
Thursday 6th July, 2017
The annual yellow-eyed penguin symposium is coming up and registrations are now open.
The afternoon session will allow for longer presentations on relevant issues.
Morning tea and lunch will be provided as in previous years. Registration is staying at $30 per person.
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.