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Penguin news archives

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011


Latest News

5 October 2011
New gate to protect the penguins without pier at St Kilda
Little penguins at St Kilda Pier will get extra protection with a new gate that will help control visitor numbers. Earthcare St Kilda volunteers have been working with Department of Sustainability and Environment to come up with ways to protect the penguins and their chicks during summer. Earthcare St Kilda president Kim Cowie said minimising the impact of visitors on the penguin colony was crucial.
Read Port Phillip Leader article

21 September 2011
Smells may help birds identify their relatives

Birds may have a more highly developed sense of smell than researchers previously thought, contend scholars who have found that penguins may use smell to determine if they are related to a potential mate. The research by the University of Chicago and the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, shows how related Humboldt penguins are able to recognise each other. The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, could help conservationists design programs to help preserve endangered species.
Read UChicago News article

Bald baby penguin abandoned by parents
An emperor penguin chick born without feathers at the LHT Pole Aquarium was abandoned by its parents just days after its birth. Now, thanks to the efforts of keepers at the aquarium in the Lianoning Province, it has been accepted back into the family. The keepers decided that the chick's lack of feathers and weak condition were due to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrition. After a month of round-the-clock care, the chick was much stronger and grew feathers. It was then reintroduced to the family group.
Read AOL Travel article

17 September 2011
Penguin-minders to educate visitors
(New Zealand)
An initiative to keep both people and little penguins happy around Oamaru Harbour is being set up by the Waitaki Tourism Association. The association is calling for volunteers to help educate visitors about how to treat penguins and other wildlife in the area. It follows increasing feedback from visitors to the Oamaru Penguin Colony who, as they leave the colony, see other people outside who are chasing or blocking birds trying to reach their nests.
Read Otago Daily Times article

12 September 2011
Where in the ocean is Happy Feet?
(Southern Ocean)
We may never know what happened to emperor penguin Happy Feet as his satellite transmitter has stopped transmitting. Sirtrack, who provided the transmitter, have confirmed that a signal has not been received since 9 September, NZ time. This lack of signal means that the transmitter has not broken the surface of the water since that time. The transmitter had been working as expected up until its last transmission, so there are two possibilities: either the transmitter has fallen off or a predator has prevented Happy Feet from surfacing.
Read The Dominion Post article
Read follow up article: Hope yet for Happy Feet fans on

4 September 2011
Happy Feet has been successfully released
(Southern Ocean)
Happy Feet, the emperor penguin who captured the hearts of New Zealanders and others around the world, has been released back into the Southern Ocean, off NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa. Happy Feet was released at 10:30 am on 4 September, 49 miles due north of Campbell Island, at a depth of 285 metres. After a bit of "gentle encouragement", the penguin was released down a purpose-made ‘hydro-slide’ off the stern ramp of the vessel by Wellington Zoo, Manager of Veterinary Science, Dr Lisa Argilla and NIWA staff.
Read Wellington Zoo press release
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Long dives for emperors
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology has found that emperor penguins fishing at sea and at an experimental dive hole often spend minimal times on the surface even after dives that last far beyond their measured 5.6 minute aerobic dive limit. Researchers from the US Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the International Coastal Research Center, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo went to the Antarctic and attached data loggers to emperor penguins diving in the two different situations to evaluate the capacity of the birds to perform such dives without any apparent prolonged recovery periods. The researchers say the penguins regularly remain submerged for up to 12 minutes by carefully managing their oxygen reserves.
Read University World News article

3 September 2011
Penguins make their screen debut
(New Zealand)
Little penguins nesting near Chaddy's Charters in New Plymouth have become screen stars thanks to funding from the George Mason Charitable Trust and Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society. Chartered lifeboat owner Dave Chadfield said that the penguins settled in some old pipes near his shop 21 years ago. Now, the funding has paid for a camera which is filming one nest with a live feed back to a screen in Chaddy's Charters shop.
Read Taranaki Daily News article

2 September 2011
Penguin killed by dog at North Head
Hidden cameras will be placed at North Head in Manly, New South Wales, after the discovery of a dead little penguin. An autopsy showed a small dog killed the penguin a few days earlier. The tagged 13-year-old male was was part of a breeding pair at North Head.
Read The Manly Daily article


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