80th Anniversary Of Amazing Penguin Parade

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: