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

Give a Little

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

Fiordland crested penguins everywhere
August 31st, 2016

Skinny tawaki 3 July 2016A 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.

Read more

New penguin brochures inform and invite support
July 19th, 2016

Giselle illustration 2 from brochure June 2016With 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.

Read more

What prions are and why we should care
July 10th, 2016

Fairy-Prion-Whangaroa-July-2014-Les-Feasey-small-393x590Fairy 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.

Read more

Southside penguin mortality increases
July 3rd, 2016

Fiordland crested penguin dog kill showing wound Southside 3 July 2016 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.

Read more

Precious Westland petrels need our understanding and protection
June 16th, 2016

Westland petrel. Photo: Rod MorrisA new report concludes that many threats remain for Westland petrels, which only nest in a few colonies near Punakaiki. (Photo: Rod Morris)

Read more

A year of penguin and seabird action
June 11th, 2016

tawakiThe West Coast Penguin Trust’s Annual Report has just been released and is full of action and progress over the past year.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

» 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!