24 April 2014

Successful breeding season for Banks Peninsula penguins

Yellow-eyed penguin chick.
Photo credit: Banks Peninsula
Conservation Trust
NEW ZEALAND - Intensive management of yellow-eyed penguins on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula appears to be paying off.

The very small population of the endangered penguins living on the south-eastern shores of the Banks Peninsula has grown, thanks to considerable predator control and monitoring of the local population by the Wildside Project.

The Project reported that six yellow-eyed penguin chicks were successfully raised this breeding season, an improvement on five the previous season. This is a small but significant increase for a population of less than 20 adults with seven nests this year, and several juvenile birds.

19 April 2014

Pest-free Macquarie Island now a penguin haven

Royal penguin on Macquarie Island.
Credit: M Murphy
via Wikimedia Commons.
AUSTRALIA - This month brings great news for about 2 million penguins: following a successful pest eradication programme, Australia's Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, officially declared that Macquarie Island is pest-free.

The programme was funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments, which invested more the AU$24 million to ensure the World Heritage-listed island is preserved. Eight years ago, WWF-Australia and Peregrine Adventures invested AU$100,000 to kickstart the programme.

Mr Hunt said, "[The programme's] success is due to the hard work and dedication of scientists, ecologists, hunters and trainers and their remarkable detector dogs."