16 July 2016

Dog owners prosecuted after little penguin deaths

AUSTRALIA - The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and the Circular Head Council have conducted a joint investigation after 18 little penguins were found dead near a rookery in Stanley on Tasmania’s North-West coast last week.

PWS state compliance coordinator Justin Helmich said the dead penguins were forensically examined and predator attack was identified as the likely cause.

“As a result of that investigation, a number of people have been interviewed and an infringement notice has been issued in respect of a number of dog control related offences,” Mr Helmich said.

Dogs were also suspected to be responsible for the deaths of 14 little penguins at the Stanley penguin viewing area last month, but the state of the penguin carcasses did not allow for a definitive cause of death to be identified.

“While there is no evidence to link this attack to other recent attacks on the North-West coast, it is extremely disturbing that it appears once again, that a dog/dogs have been responsible for a large number of penguin deaths,” Mr Helmich said.

“We are asking the community to ensure their dogs are kept in secure yards and not allowed to roam unsupervised. If dogs are found to be harming penguins, dogs may be seized, impounded and declared a dangerous dog.”

Prosecution for Stanely penguin deaths, 15 July 2016, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service

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