OK year for blue penguins on the coast

IMG_1888 copyThe Trust’s monitoring of blue penguin nests this year in the Charleston area shows that breeding success has been a bit worse than average.

Blue penguins lay two eggs and, from monitoring over the past few years, we would expect nearly half of the pairs to raise two chicks.  For the Nile River colony and 14 breeding attempts during the 2016 season, just 3 pairs fledged 2 chicks, 8 pairs fledged 1 chick, and 3 nests failed.   

The view of our head scientist, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, is that colonies are slowly declining. 

“The land based threat is not stoats, and loose dogs are still a problem in some colonies, notably in the Charleston and Punakaiki River areas.  There may be an issue or issues at sea but we are still in the dark about that.  Our GPS tracking study of where blue penguins forage when feeding chicks will continue in the coming season and early results after two years will be published soon.”