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Tracking Pukekura Blue Penguins

Community members are finding out how many pairs of kororā (Little Blue Penguin) nest in the Otago Peninsula and how successful they are at having and rearing chicks.

Project details

Project duration

December 2015 - December 2016

Organised by

Pukekura Trust

Funding awarded

$19,880.00 excl. GST (2015)
Participatory Science Platform

Kororā (Little Blue Penguins, Blue Penguins, Little Penguins) are nesting at Pilot’s Beach but there is limited information about population structure and reproductive success. How many pairs are nesting at Pilot’s Beach? What is their annual breeding success at Pilots Beach?

Indications from 20 year old research, anecdotal evidence and public observations from the viewing platform suggest these penguins are ‘super breeders’, producing two lots of two chicks per season (estimate 60% double clutching). So what husbandry or species management opportunities can be gained from having accurate data on individual penguins?

Community members are helping to answer these questions by combining observational data of these penguins on the Otago Peninsula with data from radio (RFID) tagged penguins and anecdotal evidence.

The findings will be used to demonstrate how science can benefit kaitiakitaka (guardianship) and the husbandry of the penguins in the colony, providing a baseline data for correlation with other kororā research through the Coastal Takiwa of Otakou and Puketeraki Runaka.

Partners

Royal Albatross Centre, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, Otago Secondary and Primary Schools, Otago Science Teachers Association, Department of Conservation, NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic – Veterinary Nurse Programme, Oamaru Blue Penguins – Philippa Agnew, Zoology Department, University of Otago, Philip Island Nature Park Australia.

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Project details

Project duration

December 2015 - December 2016

Organised by

Pukekura Trust

Funding awarded

$19,880.00 excl. GST (2015)
Participatory Science Platform