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.
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.
Trust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, is one of many contributing authors to an important scientific paper using tree-rings and both past and recent weather records to analyse climate variation in the New Zealand sub-Antarctic region since the 1870’s.
Once a year for the past ten years, the West Coast Penguin Trust has been inviting you to take an early morning walk on the beach to count blue penguin tracks, but now you can record penguins or their tracks quickly and easily at any time of year through NatureWatch.
Conservationist, photographer, publisher and Patron of the West Coast Penguin Trust, Craig Potton has received Forest & Bird’s highest honour with his naming as a Distinguished Life Member in recognition of more than four decades’ service to conservation.
Predator Free NZ recently interviewed our Ranger, Reuben Lane, about predator control for penguins on the Coast.
Tumbleweed Tees have created a stunning Fiordland crested penguin or tawaki image for their tee shirts and will donate $5 to the Trust for every adult shirt sold.
‘Include a Charity’ launched in NZ last year and this year their annual campaign runs from 5 – 11 September. Its aim is to raise the profile of charitable gifts in Wills and provide an opportunity for charities like ours to convey their importance.
A curious and perhaps worrying thing has been happening in recent weeks. Since 3 July, and after months of not seeing any, nearly 20 tawaki have turned up on beaches between Okarito and Karamea.
With wonderful and generous assistance from Giselle Clarkson and Jase Blair, West Coast Print, and sponsorship from DOC, we have published two new leaflets to raise awareness of our two penguins and to encourage and seek support for the Trust’s work.
Fairy prions are the most beautiful tiny, pale blue and grey seabirds, a cousin of the albatross. Sadly, they are commonly washed up on our beaches and Alan Tennyson of Te Papa has investigated.
Following the killing by dogs of two blue penguins at Southside, Hokitika, last year, a Fiordland crested penguin was killed there yesterday, also by a dog.
|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|
|Breeding range||New Zealand, Chatham Islands, Southern Australia|
Brief introduction to the work of the Trust
Support the work of the Trust here!