Beaches are great places to roam with dogs, but uncontrolled dogs can disturb or harm our wildlife. To avoid this, here are some simple steps dog owners can take to lead the way as ambassadors for our wildlife.Continue Reading...
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As Conservation Week approaches, Marine Science Advisor Laura shares tips for managing dogs near wildlife at the beach.Continue Reading...
By Wayne Beggs, Biodiversity Ranger in Akaroa.
The yellow-eyed penguin work happening at Banks Peninsula in Canterbury is a real team effort!
We’re fortunate to have some passionate farmers, Mark Armstrong and Francis Helps, who love the local wildlife and who have been the driving force behind protecting the penguins on Banks Peninsula. They had grown up with penguins and were used to seeing them around and they became very concerned when numbers started to seriously decline in the nineties.
Mark and Francis didn’t muck around and bought their own predator traps to try and control the ferrets, stoats and feral cats that were decimating the local little blue and yellow-eyed penguin colonies.
Mark and Francis soon realised that they needed some help and sought support from the local DOC rangers. DOC ranger Robin Burleigh stepped in and added additional trap lines as well as assisting with monitoring the penguins.
In more recent years Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council have contributed to the trapping and monitoring effort and penguins number have boomed.
Pōhatu is now home to the largest mainland little blue penguin colony (over 1200 pairs last count) in New Zealand and yellow-eyed penguin numbers are starting to creep back up.
A local vet, Susan Shannon, has volunteered her time to help with nest searching, mico-chipping penguin fledglings and providing emergency care for injured or sick penguins.
There are also two passionate volunteers, Thomas and Kristina, who really love penguins and put a lot of time and effort into caring for under weight, sick and injured penguins.
It’s thanks to the fantastic effort of all these people and organisations that the penguins on Banks Peninsula have a bright future.