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.
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.
With 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.
Fairy 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.
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.
A new report concludes that many threats remain for Westland petrels, which only nest in a few colonies near Punakaiki. (Photo: Rod Morris)
The West Coast Penguin Trust’s Annual Report has just been released and is full of action and progress over the past year.
Artist, 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.
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.
DOC 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.
The 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.
|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|
|Breeding range||New Zealand, Chatham Islands, Southern Australia|
Brief introduction to the work of the Trust
Support the work of the Trust here!