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.

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

Latest news

Wellington Zoo releases nationally endangered Tawaki into the wild
November 21st, 2015

Wellington Zoo Tawaki Release - Poppy, Arahura 16 Nov 2015Wellington Zoo veterinary team were able to release a nationally endangered Tawaki (Fiordland crested penguin) back into its wild West Coast habitat, after successful treatment at The Nest Te Kōhanga. 

Read more

Ewing Island petrels with Kerry-Jayne
November 6th, 2015

Kerry-Jayne burrowscope Ewing Island from videoVideos are being released from the Spirit of Mawson expedition two years ago and here’s our very own Kerry-Jayne Wilson surveying for petrels in the Auckland Islands.

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Five days on Motuara Island
November 5th, 2015

SI saddleback med res c Kerry-Jayne Nov 2015Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Trust Chair, has just returned home and sent this report “after five delightful days with penguins on Motuara Island in the outer reaches of Queen Charlotte Sound”.

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Blue penguin census encouraging
November 1st, 2015

Inger - census 10 Oct 2015 HokitikaMany of the regular participants were out again for the annual blue penguin census recently.  The number of penguin tracks heading out before dawn were up in all but one of the locations visited this year.

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Fiordland crested penguin facts
October 25th, 2015

DOC Fiordland crested penguin imageThe DOC office in Haast, closest to Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki), has produced handy information sheets describing the life of and threats to these penguins.

Read more

Penguin Encounters of the Craig Potton kind
October 20th, 2015

Craig Potton emperor penguinsCraig Potton will present his personal account of penguin encounters around the Southern hemisphere at a fundraising event for the Trust at Hokitika’s Regent Theatre on Friday 27th November, followed by a rare landscape masterclass on Saturday 28th November.

Read more

10th annual blue penguin census
October 10th, 2015

Luke and Adam Garside inspect tracks during the 2013 census

The West Coast Penguin Trust invites anyone on the coast this weekend (9-12 October) to find out whether penguins live on their beach.

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Annual blue penguin count 9-12 October
September 24th, 2015

Look for penguin prints like these on your beach

The annual blue penguin census, where Coasters get out onto their local beach and look for penguin tracks, will take place a little later this year, around 9-12 October.

Read more

Successful DOC funding bid
September 20th, 2015

CCPF announcement photo with Associate Minister Nicky Wagner 18 Sept 2015 rWe’re delighted to report that the Trust has been successful in its bid for funding from DOC’s Community Conservation Partnerships Fund! Read more

Penguin breeding season gets underway
August 23rd, 2015

tawakiSpring is springing all around us and penguins up and down the coast are likely to be incubating eggs. 

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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

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% 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!