Archive for March, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day Penguins

March 4, 2011

This year Penguin Place is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by offering not one, not two, but three festive plush penguins honoring the Emerald Island.

Chippy McNeesh

With names like Seamus McWaddle, Chippy McNeesh and Patty McPenguin there’s no doubt we’re talking about some Irish  flightless friends, and as far as we can

Patty McPenguin

Patty McPenguin

tell these are the only St. Patrick’s Day penguins out there.

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A Dozen Cool Little Blue Penguin Facts

March 2, 2011

12 Amazing Little Penguin Facts from Penguin Place!

  • Little Penguins are the only penguins to breed on the Australian mainland.
  • Little Penguins are the smallest penguins in the world. They stand 33cm tall and weigh approximately one kilogram.
  • Little Penguins live to an average of seven years. The oldest Little Penguin ever recorded is 26 years and four months.
  • Little Penguins are the only penguins to ‘parade’ when they come ashore each night after a day’s fishing at sea.
  • Little Penguins are seabirds – their feathers are actually blue above and white below.
  • Little Penguins swim up to 10km/hour!
  • Deepest recorded dive recorded by a Little Penguin is 67 metres – by a female penguin.
  • The longest recorded swimming trip by a Little Penguin was 1012 km.
  • Little Penguins lay two eggs. Males and females take turns incubating eggs. They usually shift every 3 to 4 days but can survive up to 10 days without eating, when food is not easy to find.
  • Phillip Island is the most famous Penguin viewing location in the world and Australia’s most popular natural wildlife attraction with over 500,000 visitors each year.
  • The Penguin Parade, as part of Phillip Island Nature Parks, is a not for profit, self funding ecotourism attraction.
  • Research programs to protect the Little Penguins have been running for over 43 years.

80th Anniversary Of Amazing Penguin Parade

March 2, 2011

To celebrate the 80th anniversary since the first Penguin Parade at Phillip Island, The Penguin Post has learned that the Philip Island Nature Parks are marking this milestone by declaring March, ‘ Penguin Month’.  Throughout ‘Penguin Month’ a range of daily activities, tours and events for children and families will be held at Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Koala Conservation Centre, The Nobbies and Penguin Parade.

In the late 1920s, when the first concept of a ‘Penguin Parade’ was introduced , visitors were able to sit on the beach and even touch the Little Penguins as they emerged from the ocean and waddled along the beach to their burrows on the Summerland Peninsula. While that may have been fun and exciting for visitors – it proved detrimental to the Penguin colony, with many being scared off, and abandoning their burrows and young chicks.  From 1930 a more organised Penguin Parade was established.

Also at that time, the Summerland Peninsula Estate was home to holiday makers with their houses, cars, dogs and cats – much of which proved deadly for the Little Penguins.   Monitoring and forward forecasting in the early ‘80s estimated that unless something was done – there would have been no penguins left by 1996.

In 1985 a buyback program by the State Government was instigated, resulting in the removal of houses and infrastructure.  As well, an on-going Penguin Protection Program undertaken by Nature Parks’ Rangers and volunteers, involving revegetation, vermin control and the building and placement of ‘artificial’ penguin homes, has seen the return of thousands of Little Penguins to the Peninsula.

Today, Australia’s number one natural wildlife attraction the Penguin Parade attracts over 500,000 visitors every year. PINP is responsible for the habitat of the 28,000 Little Penguins who live at Summerland Peninsula and the Nature Parks care for an approximately 1,805 Little Penguins on Phillip Island.

Funds generated from the Nature Parks’ four main attractions, the Penguin Parade, the Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Nobbies are reinvested back into conservation, environment, education and research programs aimed at preserving and protecting the wildlife and nature under the Nature Parks’ care.

A spectacular sunset for a spectacular penguin parade