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.

Annual Cycle

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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.


Latest news

Great Annual West Coast Blue Penguin Count
November 1st, 2017

NatureWatch mapNatureWatch has proved to be a useful tool for recording penguin tracks, which have been counted and reported over the length of the West Coast!

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Tracking tawaki in Milford Sound
October 20th, 2017

Tawaki with two chicks Milford Oct 2017 Kerry-Jayne Wilson rTrust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson spent a week in Milford Sound earlier this month helping Dr Thomas Mattern from The Tawaki Project, and filed this report.

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Education round up
October 4th, 2017

St Patricks plaster of Paris foot prints July 2017 1 rLucy Waller, Education Ranger, has been working with local schools as they make the most of the Trust’s educational resource. 

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The Great Annual West Coast Blue Penguin Count 2017
October 2nd, 2017

Lucy Waller finds penguin tracks, Sept 2016It’s back and it’s better!  The penguin count took a break last year, but it is back and you can help by taking a morning walk on your beach and recording any penguin tracks or other penguin observations in the NatureWatchNZ (iNaturalist) app.

Read more



Collaboration and partnerships for tawaki
September 4th, 2017

Fiordland crested penguins, Jan 2006, Open Bay Island Inger (low res)The West Coast Penguin Trust and The Tawaki Project have been working together for the past three years and have recently formed The Tawaki Coalition to present a single voice for tawaki to our new conservation partners, Wellington Zoo and Taronga Zoo (Sydney).

Read more



Blue penguins feature for Year 10
August 15th, 2017

NZ curriculum logo croppedWith input from the Trust, Buller High School senior science teacher, Erica Jar, has developed class notes for the Year 10 ecology curriculum that focus on local wildlife – blue penguins.

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Study into the effects of artificial lights on seabirds
July 12th, 2017

Westland petrel, nzbirdsonline, Patrick Shortley cWhile light pollution is a growing concern around the world, a wide ranging three year study funded by the European Union, including a “global review of seabird mortality in relation to land-based artificial lights” has identified ways to minimise the negative effect of artificial lights on penguins and shearwaters. Read more



Why are penguins black (or blue) and white?
June 29th, 2017

Penguins of Madagascar snip penguin camouflageThe long standing theory of penguin camouflage is debunked by scientist Dr Thomas Mattern in an excellent blog and video article.

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Annual Report celebrates progress for penguins
May 23rd, 2017

Gari as a juvenile penguin cThe West Coast Penguin Trust bases its conservation work on sound science.  That science continues to underpin improved understanding of the threats facing penguins and seabirds in the region for improved conservation management, and the Annual Report, published today, updates readers on all of our projects.

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Penguin enthusiast shares Antarctic experience
May 12th, 2017

Emperor penguin sliding - Helen Armstrong March 2017Helen Armstrong recently travelled to Antarctica with Heritage Expeditions. They offer people under 30 scholarships each year so that younger people can experience a place that very few people visit. She shared this report and some photos about her trip earlier this year.

Read more





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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!


VIMEO CHANNEL – for penguin videos