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

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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Feral cats pose a new threat to blue penguins
August 6th, 2015

17603-a-cat-licking-his-mouth-pv - free stock photosAn injured penguin found beside the highway at Awatuna in late July was found to have been attacked by a cat.

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Award winning night for the Trust
May 9th, 2015

Peter Williams Leading Light Awards MCAt last night’s 4th West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards, MC’d by TV One’s Peter Williams, the Trust was very proud to be named winner in both its categories.

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The Trust is a ‘Leading Light’!
April 1st, 2015

Leading Light 2015_Badges_finalistThe West Coast Penguin Trust has today been named as a finalist in both the Not For Profit and the Environment categories of the 2014 West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards. Read more



A night with some noisy petrels
March 28th, 2015

Westland petrel field work Kerry-Jane Wilson 27 March 2015Tired and sore after an energetic night with the Westland petrels last night, Trust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, filed a report.

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Public talks in Haast, Friday 6th March
March 4th, 2015

Fiordland Crested Penguin, Jan 2006, Taumaka Island (Inger Perkins) 30pcAll are welcome at the Trust’s illustrated talks at the Heartland World Heritage Hotel, Haast on Friday at 7pm.

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Chatham Petrel brought back from the brink
March 3rd, 2015

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, one of the expedition leadersTrust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, is one of the authors of a recently published and important paper detailing 20 years of conservation of the endangered Chatham petrel.

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Swim for penguins!
March 1st, 2015

Virtual Cook Strait ship picThe Grey District Aquatic Centre is planning a Virtual Cook Strait Swim to raise funds for local charities.  The West Coast Penguin Trust will be there and we need you!

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Penguins for children
February 16th, 2015

Painting a penguin Driftwood and Sand Jan 2015 webThe Trust has again been connecting up with children this summer and there’s more planned in the coming weeks. 

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Penguin Awareness Day, 20th January
January 19th, 2015

Happy penguin awareness day blue penguin and flowersWe’ve just become aware of Penguin Awareness Day!  What can you do today, or any day, to share the love of penguins?

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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

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!