A New Little Blue Penguin Parade?

The Penguin Post has learned that a group of Kaiteriteri residents in Southern New Zealand have banded together in an effort to save their local Little Blue penguin populations in the hopes of creating a penguin parade in their area.  At its inaugural event yesterday, residents, holidaymakers and children met at Little Kaiteriteri to learn about ways they can save the protected species.

Spokesperson for the group working to save the penguins, Mark Oldfield, said he wanted residents to put nesting boxes in the area, as well as traps for predators.He said if residents worked to protect and encourage the nesting of the little blue penguins, they could have a penguin parade much like that in Oamaru where penguins can be seen scuttling between beach and nests at dusk and dawn.

The penguins were creating burrows under homes at Little Kaiteriteri, which some residents encouraged, while others did not, because of the noise and smell. “This is why we are encouraging people to set up the nest boxes.”

Department of Conservation partnership ranger Al Check said there were many risks to the penguins, including traffic, rodents and dogs. He was concerned about the influx of dogs over the holiday season. DOC would provide dog training to stop dogs from attacking the penguins, he said. The group were encouraged to use traps for predators and nesting boxes for the penguins. Some traps had been donated to the residents.Conservation Minister Nick Smith said he supported the “fantastic initiative” of the residents.

“These are a very wonderful creature, and if we don’t look after them they won’t survive.” He said they were iconic to New Zealand and DOC was committed to their survival. “We need to make sure that the children here today can one day come back with their grandkids and there will still be the little blue penguins.”

Kori the penguin lifts Shannon Bradford, 3, of Motueka after the Save Our Little Kaiteriteri Blue Penguin launch held at Little Kaiteriteri

Kori the penguin lifts Shannon Bradford, 3, of Motueka after the Save Our Little Kaiteriteri Blue Penguin launch held at Little Kaiteriteri

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