The Blue Penguin (Korora) and Fiordland Crested Penguin (Tawaki)

The blue penguin is the world’s smallest penguin at just 35-43cm tall, and weighs a little over 1kg.  It is found in many places around New Zealand and Australia and is a protected native species. 

The second penguin on the West Coast is the Fiordland crested penguin or tawaki, which is listed as Nationally Endangered and is likely to be the second rarest penguin in the world and probably the most enigmatic and least understood. Read more about our tawaki project here.

The blue penguin population is declining throughout New Zealand. On the West Coast it is estimated blue penguins only number in the high hundreds to low thousands.  Blue penguins need our protection from coastal development, predators, dogs and traffic and we’re working on these issues with your help.

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The West Coast Penguin Trust

The West Coast Penguin Trust is a charitable trust.  Its aim is to conserve the blue penguins, Fiordland crested penguins, other threatened seabirds and their habitat on the West Coast.  The Trust raises funds, conducts research and implements practical projects relating to penguins in particular, as well as to other birds subject to similar threats.

Here’s a new 45second video made for the Trust as a finalist in the West Coast Leading Light Awards 2015.


Latest news

New and original penguin t-shirts
May 7th, 2016

Giselle west coast penguins t-shirt design March 2016Artist, Giselle, has kindly created a very original design, which has been printed on ‘Genuine Gildan’ shirts, selected for their environmental and ethical approach to their manufacturing operation.

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Westland petrel videos
May 2nd, 2016

Westland petrel.  Photo: Rod Morris The Westland petrel is generally only seen at dusk near the breeding colonies south of Punakaiki but in a couple of videos, you can see them land, burrow and nest in the forest in the Paparoa National Park, as well as Te Papa scientists conducting their research into the foraging habits of these well-travelled seabirds.

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Seaweek beach and art activity with Hokitika Primary
March 29th, 2016

10 Penguins on the beach map rDOC arranged for Seaweek field trips and art activities for a number of schools between Cobden and Haast, including a penguin inspired day with Hokitika Primary School children recently.

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A few days in the life of a tawaki family
March 10th, 2016

Snip from video - tawaki JH03 Sept 15The Trust’s ‘pre-predator control’ monitoring project in South Westland is producing a fascinating insight into the day to day existence of our rare Fiordland crested penguins.

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Clarification on Cape Denison Adélie Penguins
February 19th, 2016

Adelie-Penguin-1 from topimages.orgThere has been some misreporting of the Adelie penguins research paper mentioned in a facebook post earlier this month, some saying that 150,000 penguins have died.

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Iceberg B09B killing Adélie penguin colony
February 6th, 2016

Adelie, Commonwealth Bay, Aus GeographicTrust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, is lead author of a report published this week in the journal Antarctic Science, which concludes that the Cape Denison colony could be wiped out within 20 years.

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Stark contrast for Fiordland v South Westland penguins
February 3rd, 2016

2015-09-15_3 Tawaki and chick at Jackson Head (Tawaki Project - Thomas Mattern)The Tawaki Project team have found stark contrasts in the foraging habits and breeding success of tawaki (Fiordland crested penguins) when comparing colonies at Jackson Head and Milford Sound.

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Penguin education workshop inspires teachers
February 2nd, 2016

Greymouth penguin education workshop 9 Dec 2015 - Zoe Watson presentsEleven teachers from Greymouth attended an inspiring workshop led by environmental educator Zoe Watson, giving them food for thought as they planned their 2016 programmes.

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Blue penguins star in Oddball movie
January 10th, 2016

Oddball movie - maremma puppyA new film is due to hit New Zealand’s cinema screens soon and, alongside a very cuddly dog and his eccentric owner, it features a cast of blue penguins.

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Craig Potton presents …
November 30th, 2015

Craig Potton 27 Nov 2015The Trust and the West Coast Community were privileged to be entertained, informed and inspired by the Trust’s Patron, Craig Potton this weekend.

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» Read older news
Family Spheniscidae
Maori Name Korora
Scientific Name Eudyptula minor
Common Names Little Penguin, Blue Penguin, Little Blue Penguin, Fairy Penguin
Colour Slate blue plumage; white chin, throat and shirt front; blue-grey flippers
Standing height 35-43cm
Flipper length 11-13cm
Weight Avg. 1100-1200g
Breeding range New Zealand, Chatham Islands, Southern Australia

Brief introduction to the work of the Trust

Green Ribbon Award Winners logoLeading LIght Business Awards Category Winner 2012

Leading Light 2015_Badges_winner

image from leading light video 2015

Brief video updating the work of the Trust for the Leading Light Awards, 2015

Support the work of the Trust here!

Kiwi Karma, NZ accommodation website, donates 3% of your room rate to charity, at no extra cost to you.  Just select West Coast Penguin Trust when you confirm your booking. Over 3100 places to stay, NO BOOKING or CREDIT CARD fees.
Kiwi Karma, NZ accommodation website based on the TradeMe BookIt system, donates 5-8% of your room rate to charity, at no extra cost to you. Just select West Coast Penguin Trust when you confirm your booking.  Over 3100 places to stay, so you’re bound to find something to suit from backpackers to 5 star luxury!