Annual Blue Penguin Census, 11-15 Sept

footprint photoThe blue penguin census is a great opportunity to get out onto your local beach and get to know it a little better! 

A few days are chosen when the low tide occurs a bit before or after dawn, including a weekend, so that, for sandy beaches, the tracks of penguins that left their nests before dawn will be visible during an early walk along the beach.  If the weather on 11-15 September is anything like the past three weeks, it will be well worth while making an effort for that early morning walk!

It’s an opportunity for anyone interested in the local wildlife to have a look at their beach with penguins and other birds in mind and to record the penguin tracks they see, which can be considered broadly alongside surveys from previous years.  Other tracks and changes might prompt you to think about how the penguins will cope, perhaps vehicle or dog tracks, or dumping or clearing, or erosion. 

This year, we’ve created an online form for you to pop you findings into after your walk and the form is also available to print if you’d like to check first or print and take the prompts with you.  You can also email or post the results to the Trust.  All the information, including footprint identification guide and safety advice is on our census page.

The local newspapers are always interested in the results in their area and it would be wonderful to share a few photos of you doing the census, so please take a camera with you and take photos of the view, the tracks, each other and some ‘selfies’ as you enjoy the beach and observe tracks, and then share them with us, by email or on our facebook page.

We’ve prepared a list of beaches and if you could pick your nearest beach, it will be great to have you involved.  In the past we’ve had beaches surveyed from Haast to Karamea and we would love to cover the same and some more beaches this year so have a look at the beach list and pick the one you’ll do!

We hope you’ll see plenty of penguin tracks (just count the ones going out to sea) and enjoy your walk!

Luke and Adam Garside checking penguin tracks during the 2013 blue penguin census.

Luke and Adam Garside checking penguin tracks during the 2013 blue penguin census.