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May 2011

30 May 2011
Walking the walk for penguins
(South Africa)
Penguin colonies from Gansbaai to Simon’s Town had some unusual company over the past five days: a group of conservationists dressed in black and white who waddled 122km to raise awareness about the plight of the African penguin as part of a new campaign Penguin Promises.
Read Cape Argus article at Independent Online

27 May 2011
The little penguin that wouldn't
(New Zealand)
Morgan the penguin is "really unusual". He simply doesn't want to swim. The white-flippered penguin is about 16 years old and was found skinny and lost at Flea Bay, Banks Peninsula, about three weeks ago. Now in quarantine at Christchurch's International Antarctic Centre, Morgan is the first penguin staff have ever seen that refuses to swim.
Read The Press article at

26 May 2011
A nest of protection
(New Zealand)
Little blue penguins coming ashore to nest near Port Tarakohe in Golden Bay are assured of good homes, thanks to a community project led by the Department of Conservation. About 25 volunteers placed 50 wooden penguin nesting boxes near the tip of the western breakwater.
The boxes were buried in soil, to be planted with native flora to make the small entrances less visible and create a more natural environment, said DOC representative Greg Napp.
Read Motueka Golden Bay News article at

25 May 2011
Campers risky for penguin colonies
(New Zealand)
Penguins on the North Otago coastline must be protected from freedom campers, the Waitaki District Council has been told. The council heard submissions to its draft Environmental Nuisance and Freedom Camping Control bylaw. Department of Conservation solicitor Pene Williams told councillors there were five areas south of Oamaru where penguins, mostly yellow-eyed, had breeding colonies; Bushy Beach, Shag Point, Katiki Beach, Moeraki Peninsula, and Tavora Beach. "Research has indicated that penguin nesting success is significantly decreased if birds are disturbed by people. There is also a concern that people will have dogs with them who could also disturb these vulnerable birds," she said.
Read The Timaru Herald article at

17 May 2011
Live-saving shoe for Lucky the penguin
Adventure-footwear company Teva has come to the rescue of Lucky, a young Humboldt penguin with an impaired foot at the Santa Barbara Zoo. By wearing a shoe custom made by Teva, Lucky is now able to walk, hop and swim like any other penguin. Teva president Pete Worley said "We went through a bit more trial and error due to the language barrier, but Lucky knew what he was looking for in performance footwear, and he let us know when we had it right. In Lucky, we found a new friend and the perfect Teva athlete."
Read Teva press release

14 May 2011
Little blues travel widely
(New Zealand)
Oamaru's little penguins journey more than 100 kilometres on feeding trips, recent research results have shown. The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony employed biologist Philippa Agnew last year to carry out a three-year research project looking at where the penguins go on their quest for food and what they do. Colony manager Jason Gaskill said the team was still working its way through data collected from the year's research but so far the information gathered had been interesting. "Some of the trips have been longer than we expected, and to areas we did not expect."
Read The Timaru Herald article at

12 May 2011
Penguins' oxygen trick: how they survive deep dives
Emperor penguins are the acrobatic athletes of the seas, and they can keep diving for long periods of time because they have exquisite control over how and when their muscles use oxygen, new research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology indicates. The penguins can switch between two modes of oxygen use - either starving their muscles or giving them an extra shot of oxygen to keep them working - to achieve their amazing dives.
Read LiveScience article

Gaining weight, but not yet waterproof: penguins still need care
(Tristan da Cunha)
Around 400 rockhopper penguins oiled by the 16 March wreck of the MS Oliva remain in the rehabilitation centre on Tristan da Cunha. Release of these birds cannot occur until they are in excellent condition, as sending them into a cold south Atlantic without their waterproofing intact would be disastrous. Sadly, the overall rate of rehabilitation of the rescued penguins has been extremely low, with around an 88% mortality rate amongst those birds that were moved to Tristan. This is a much higher mortality than in other oiling incidents, and the RSPB hopes that lessons can be learned that will improve this figure in any future incidents.
Read RSPB post on BirdLife International Community

10 May 2011
Victory for dog owners: ban overturned
Dog access has been restored to the single flight of steps in Manly that has become the focus of one of the area’s most intense debates over the past two months. In an hour-long discussion in front of a packed public gallery last night, Manly Council voted to overturn a total ban on dogs accessing the stairs leading to Federation Point. The new regulation was introduced in December following the deaths of seven little penguins near the point in a dog attack.
Read The Manly Daily article

Penguin dies in dog attack
(New Zealand)
A little penguin has died in Wellington Zoo after being attacked by a dog in Seaview. The attack on Saturday morning involved a couple walking a large alsatian and a husky on Port Rd. Witness Ann Rodgers confronted the pair and said the woman was attempting to hide the badly injured bird under a bush. She said the man was severely reprimanding the dogs.
Read The Hutt News article at

8 May 2011
Touchy-feely fans threaten St Kilda's penguin parade
It's not only St Kilda residents who get frustrated by the swarms of visitors who overrun the bayside suburb every weekend. A colony of little penguins that reside at the end of St Kilda Pier are attracting crowds of up to 1500 people a night, which has forced Parks Victoriat o protect the pint-sized tourist attraction.
Read The Age article

6 May 2011
William and Kate recieve a penguin as royal wedding gift from Chester Zoo
Prince William and Kate Middleton have received an unusual wedding present from Chester Zoo – a Humboldt penguin chick called Acorn. The zoo unveiled its unique gift to the happy couple after asking followers on social networking sites to choose which of its 400 different species the royal pair should sponsor.
Read Chester Zoo press release

4 May 2011
Results received for penguin deaths on East Coast beaches
(New Zealand)
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has received the necropsy results from Massey University for little penguins washed up dead on East Coast beaches in April and said the deaths are consistent with a prolonged period of starvation and exposure. “The penguin deaths are linked to the La Nina weather patterns which have reduced the amount of baitfish available. The empty stomachs and low fat reserves leading to low body score are the result of this poor food availability” says Ranger, Biodiversity Assets Jamie Quirk.
Read DOC press release

3 May 2011
Penguins 'frightened' by break-in at Sea Life Centre
Humboldt penguins were left "frightened and upset" after being chased around their enclosure at Sea Life Scarborough by a trespasser who broke in during the early hours of 25 April. Mike Salt, general manager at the centre, said the intruder had chased the animals around for about 15 minutes.
Read BBC News article


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