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August 2011

31 August 2011
Penguin halt flood mitigation at Manly Wharf
Work near Manly Wharf in New South Wales to address flooding problems will not resume until after the little penguin breeding season ends in February. The work was halted out of concern that there were little penguins nesting under the wharf. Manly Council staff and contractors had removed sand and begun stormwater works near the wharf but stopped working after volunteer penguin protectors advised the council of nests beneath the wharf.
Read The Manly Daily article

30 August 2011
Penguin population stable at Troubridge
Troubridge Island is home to one of the largest populations of little penguins in South Australia and is the largest in the region. In stark contrast to the small and rapidly decreasing population on Granite Island, a recent census on Troubridge Island found there are about 2600 breeding penguins.Penguin ecologist Annelise Wiebkin said she believes the population of penguins on the island is stable, suggesting food is readily available near the island and the adult survival rate is relatively high.
Read Yorke Peninsula Country Times article

29 August 2011
Emergency operation for greedy penguin at seal sanctuary
Lola, a Humboldt penguin at the National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, had to be rushed to the vets to undergo an emergency operation after swallowing a hair grip which had fallen into her enclosure. Although it was touch and go, the operation was success and the greedy bird is now back among her fellow penguins at the sanctuary.
Read Falmouth Packet article

26 August 2011
Zoo staff prepare for Happy Feet's farewell
(New Zealand)
NIWA staff have had special penguin-handling training in preparation for the first part of Happy Feet's big journey home. On 28 August the famous emperor penguin will be moved on to NIWA research Tangaroa vessel which is heading towards Antarctica. He will travel in a purpose built crate onboard the vessel, before being released east of the Auckland Islands. A special satellite transmitter will track his journey, and it is likely to stay on him until around April next year when he moults.
Read One News article at TVNZ

24 August 2011
Granite Island penguins could be gone by 2020
A census has added to worries Granite Island's little penguin colony is on the brink of extinction. The count found 102 penguins on the tiny island off the coast of Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide. It is 30% fewer penguins than the year before and compares with about 1,600 recorded at the popular tourist destination a decade ago. Conservationist Natalie Gilbert says there could be no penguins in the area by 2020 if the trend persists.
Read ABC News article

19 August 2011
Penguins don't freeze, but they do get very, very cold
Junvenile king penguins may huddle together not for warmth, but to get a good night's sleep. The penguins appear to be able to conserve energy when they need to by allowing their body temperature to drop. Scientists from the University of Strasbourg, France inserted temperature sensors into several organs in 10 chicks in the subantarctic Crozet Islands, then let them go about their daily lives for about seven months. They found that parts of their bodies dropped by up to 15.7°C when they were inactive, local temperatures fell or when fed cold meals. Their results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Read New Scientist article

18 August 2011
Little penguins take break from raising offspring
A joint study between Australian and French scientists, to be published in Ecology,has discovered a sophisticated feeding strategy for little penguins, enabling them to take regular breaks from raising their chicks. “We found little penguins alternate between two consecutive long trips and several short foraging trips while rearing their offspring,” said Claire Saraux, a French student from the University of Strasbourg conducting her PhD project in Australia. “That strategy is almost never observed in inshore marine birds that forage close to land.”
Read Phillip Island Nature Parks press release

17 August 2011
Happy Feet heading home in style onboard NIWA's largest research vessel
(New Zealand)
Happy Feet the adventurous emperor penguin is set to return home to the subantarctic onboard Tangaroa, NIWA's largest research vessel. Tangaroa is due to depart Wellington on 29 August for a month-long fisheries survey on Campbell Island southern blue whiting. Happy Feet will be released from the ship on the way, approximately four days out to sea, at about 53 degrees south. Dr Lisa Argilla, Manager Veterinary Science at Wellington Zoo, will accompany the penguin on his journey home. She will be assisted by two NIWA staff who are on the vessel for the fisheries survey. They will be trained to help Dr Argilla feed and care for the penguin before the voyage departs.
Read Wellington Zoo press release

11 August 2011
Phillip Island Nature Parks opens world class wildlife rehabilitation centre
Phillip Island's little penguins can look forward to world class care in the island's new wildlife rehabilitation centre. The new centre was developed by Phillip Island Nature Parks in conjunction with the Penguin Foundation. It was opened by Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith, who said, "Victoria has one of the largest little penguin colonies in the world so we must do our best to ensure these little creatures are cared for and protected." The new rehabilitation centre has the capacity to care for up to 1,500 little penguins in the event of an oil spill. It is also equipped to care for other injured Phillip Island wildlife.
Read Liberal Victoria media release

8 August 2011
Call to cull fur seals off Kangaroo Island
Penguin lovers want a cull of fur seals on Kangaroo Island because the animals are hunting the birds to local extinction. The South Australian Department of Environment has confirmed it has been lobbied for a cull or a relocation program as little penguin numbers in the Victor Harbor-Kangaroo Island region have plummeted.
Read The Advertiser article at


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