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 … and you can help right now with a donation: givealittle 150

Blue penguin annual life cycle

Annual Cycle


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

Kerry-Jayne Wilson MNZM
December 31st, 2018

Kerry-Jayne Wilson June 2018The West Coast Penguin Trust is delighted and hugely proud to share the news that our Chair and Scientist, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, has been awarded MNZM – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit – in the New Year’s Honours for services to seabird conservation.

“No one achieves anything alone – seabird work is a very collegial environment. I work with the West Coast Penguin Trust, the Australasian Seabird Group and many other colleagues” she said. Read more

Community Conservation Symposium a huge success
October 16th, 2018

Kerry-Jayne Wilson gets the symposium started June 2018The West Coast Penguin Trust presented the “Community Conservation Symposium – How, what and why for conservation on the West Coast” on 14-15 June 2018.  With 119 participants for the conference day and 65 joining field trips on day two, numbers were much greater than expected and the whole event was a huge success.

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Dog aversion training offered
September 11th, 2018

Dogs and their owners are being invited to participate in penguin and weka avoidance training in Hokitika as a part of Conservation Week on the 22 and 23 September.

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The Great Annual Blue Penguin Count is coming!
September 7th, 2018

The Great Annual Blue Penguin Count, 10-15 October this year, is fun, hugely useful and a great way to get involved!

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Tawaki – marathon penguins
August 31st, 2018

We are celebrating with The Tawaki Project the release of a research paper reporting the marathon swims made by Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki) after raising chicks and before returning to moult.  

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Penguins are advocates for conservation
June 7th, 2018

Lucy Waller, Education RangerWest Coast Penguin Trust Ranger, Lucy Waller, makes the case for penguins, loving them, conserving them and presenting them to children as a gateway to more conservation conversations. 

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A busy year for the Trust
May 31st, 2018

The Trust produces an Annual Report to update supporters and sponsors about all the work we do.  From penguins to petrels and trapping to tamariki, in the year to 31st March 2018 we have been busy!

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Fantastic Field Trips for the Symposium!
May 30th, 2018

Motukiekie rocks by Darren J BennettThere are three field trips on offer on Friday 15th June as part of the Community Conservation Symposium, with a choice of morning trips to Cobden (restoration project and trapping workshop) or to Moonlight (kiwi crèche) and, in the afternoon, up the Coast Road to discover a variety of community conservation projects.

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Superb speakers for Symposium
May 9th, 2018

Kevin HagueWe are delighted and excited to have a fantastic line up of speakers for the Community Conservation Symposium on 14th June at Shantytown and would like to introduce the first three.

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Tawaki: Trust four year study concludes …
April 29th, 2018

The West Coast Penguin Trust’s four-year study of the threats predators pose to Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki) concludes that control of stoats appears to be required in some years, in some colonies.  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

VIMEO CHANNEL – for penguin videos