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June 2011

29 June 2011
Release in southern ocean preferred option for emperor penguin
(New Zealand)
An advisory group made of up representatives from the Department of Conservation (DOC), Wellington Zoo, Massey University and Te Papa has agreed the preferred option for Happy Feet, the emperor penguin who was found at Peka Peka Beach, is to release him in the southern ocean, south east of New Zealand. This is the northern edge of the known range of juvenile emperor penguins. Happy Feet is currently being treated at Wellington Zoo, where he has undergone a series of procedures to remove the sand and sticks from his digestive system. He is in a stable condition and continues to pass sand naturally.
Read DOC press release

28 June 2011
Morgan's in the swim at last
(New Zealand)
Morgan the penguin, the reluctant one who didn’t want to swim, has finally taken the plunge. The white-flippered penguin who refused to get his feet wet, is now fully in the swim with the others in the penguin colony at The Antarctic Attraction in Christchurch, and happy to be “one of the gang”. But it has taken much coaxing, encouragement and lots of tender loving care before the little 16-year-old found the confidence to slip into the pool for the first time just days ago. “It was a fantastic moment and we were all very excited,” said David Ferrand, Operations Manager at The Antarctic Attraction.
Read Durning PR press release

24 June 2011
Penguin strong but given 50/50 chance
(New Zealand)
"Happy Feet" the emperor penguin has been taken from Peka Peka beach to Wellington Zoo, where it is to undergo surgery. Zoo staff give it a 50 per cent chance of recovery. The penguin was taken to the zoo in a chilled box after it's behaviour changed markedly in the last few days. Veterinary staff at the zoo said the bird was dehydrated and was suffering from heat exhaustion. It needed to be stabilised before being operated on, but would be undergoing a manual procedure to try to clear its throat, which seems to be blocked. Earlier, the penguin was put under anaesthetic while vets flushed sand out from inside its body.
Read Dominion Post article at Stuff.co.nz

23 June 2011
Are penguins more fearful than hungry?
(Antarctica)
In the quest to understand what influences the survival of emperor and adelie penguins in Antarctica in the face of environmental change, a new discovery has been uncovered: penguins make choices about where and when to feed based on the risk of being eaten, rather than where the best (or most) food is. Researchers David Ainley (HT Harvey and Associates) and Grant Ballard (PRBO Conservation Science) recently published the findings in the journal Polar Biology. The results are important because how behavioural factors like these influence the survival of species has not yet been considered as important in understanding and conserving Southern Ocean food
webs.
Read PPRO press release

21 June 2011
Emperor penguin visits the Kapiti Coast
(New Zealand)
Kapiti Coast residents have been treated to a rare visitor from Antarctica: an emperor penguin. It is only the second time that an emperor penguin has been recorded in New Zealand. The first was back in 1967 at Southland's Oreti Beach. It is not known why this Antarctic dweller is visiting New Zealand shores. "It's amazing to see one of these penguins on the Kapiti Coast," said Department of Conservation (DOC) biodiversity spokesperson Peter Simpson. "Unusual animals from the Antarctic sometimes visit our shores, but we really don't know why." If left alone it is expected that the bird will eventually swim back out to sea.
Read Department of Conservation press release

18 June 2011
Dead penguins discovered in Uruguayan coast: perished of "natural causes"
(Uruguay)
The recent discovery of dead Magellanic penguins in several beaches of Uruguay’s eastern coast can’t be attributed to chemical intoxication, “but rather natural causes”, said Daniel Gilardoni head of the Uruguay’s Natural Aquatic Resources Administration.
Read MercoPress article

17 June 2011
Penguins paddle in
(Australia)
Ranger patrols at Clareville and Paradise Beach in Sydney, NSW, have been stepped up after reports of little penguins in the area. According to the Clareville and Bilgola Plateau Residents Association, a number of residents fear dogs could attack the penguins. Association president John Waring said residents are hoping the penguins begin a colony.
Read The Manly Daily article

16 June 2011
Research shows penguins don't share parenting duties
(Australia)
As do some people, some penguins make pushy parents. Phillip Island's little penguin parents have the same issues we do when it comes to one spouse not pulling their weight in their parenting role: the other half has to work harder to feed and nurture the offspring. Research by Australian and French scientists in the International Society for Behavioural Ecology's journal dispels a long-held held belief penguin parents contribute equally to raising the chicks. But a staggering 75% are unequal partnerships, and those with an over-achieving parent produce fitter, healthier chicks who are more likely to survive.
Read Herald Sun article

15 June 2011
Penguin chick fed by keepers' puppet at Devon Zoo dies
(UK)
The macaroni penguin chick who was hand-reared by zoo keepers in Devon who used a puppet to impersonate an adult has died. Living Coasts said that the bird, which was just over two-weeks old, had been eating less and died on Monday. Staff said it was a sad event and that a post-mortem examination would be carried out.s
Read BBC News article

13 June 2011
Questions and concerns over starving penguins
(Australia)
Starving little penguins are being washed up on Warrnambool and district beaches, alarming wildlife carers and beachgoers. Dozens of the little seafarers have been rescued, only to die soon after, and several carcasses have been found along the coast between Warrnambool and Port Fairy in the past few weeks.
Read The Warrnambool Standard article

8 June 2011
600 dead penguins wash up in Uruguay
(Uruguay)
About 600 dead Magellanic penguins washed up on Uruguay's Atlantic coast over a few days. Experts are trying to determine what has killed the birds. The Uruguay navy says 200 dead Magellan penguins were discovered on the shore at La Paloma, about 200km east of Montevideo. A marine animal rescue group previously reported that the carcasses of 400 penguins washed up around the resort town of Piriapolis along with dead turtles, dolphins and albatrosses.
Read The Sydney Morning Herald article

3 June 2011
Penguin impressions help rear chick in Devon
(UK)
Zoo keepers are impersonating a penguin so they can hand rear a chick. The keepers at Living Coasts in Torquay, Devon, are using a homemade penguin puppet when feeding the chick so it does not become too used to humans. The macaroni penguin was hatched in an incubator because the egg was abandoned after one of its parents fell ill. The puppet was made from an industrial black rubber glove decorated with red eyes and yellow plumes.
Read BBC News article

1 June 2011
Keeping warm: Coordinated movements in a penguin huddle
(Antarctica)
To survive temperatures below -50°C and gale-force winds above 180km/h during the Antarctic winter, emperor penguins form tightly packed huddles and, as has recently been discovered, the penguins actually co-ordinate their movements to give all members of the huddle a chance to warm up. Scientists recently spent a winter at Dronning Maud Land in the Antarctic, making high-resolution video recordings of an emperor penguin colony. They found that penguins in a huddle move in periodic waves to continuously change the huddle structure. This movement allows animals from the outside to enter the tightly packed huddle and to warm up. The results have now been published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Read PLoS ONE press release at EurekAlert!


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