Yellow-Eyed Penguin Count

The Penguin Post has learned that teacher Christina Greenwood, of Wanaka, New Zealand leaves next month on an expedition to the Auckland Islands to count yellow-eyed penguins. And, she says, if previous counts are anything to go by, she will have somewhere between none and ”heaps” of penguins to count.

Ms Greenwood, who teaches geography, tourism and social studies at Cromwell College, and another teacher, Frazer Dale, from Auckland, were selected by the Sir Peter Blake Trust to join eight Department of Conservation staff and volunteers carrying out the survey at various nesting sites around the islands. The team leaves Bluff, aboard the yacht Evohe, on November 17. Ms Greenwood said she hoped the trip would benefit her pupils by increasing their awareness of the ”amazing resources” New Zealand has guardianship of and by creating connections with the trust.


Originally from the north of England, Ms Greenwood has sailed with her husband and two young daughters through the Pacific Islands but has not been south of New Zealand before. ”It might be quite a rough passage to get there and then I think we are just expecting fairly wet and windy conditions.” Ms Greenwood is a fully qualified sailing, climbing, kayaking and mountaineering instructor. Before dawn each morning, she and other team members will be dropped at points around the islands. ”We’ll end up going ashore in the dark and then walking to our counting sites. ”Because [the penguins] go out to sea at dawn, you have got to be in place before they get up.” The last estimate was done in 1989 and since 2009 Doc and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust have been gathering data to calculate a revised population.

The penguin counting team will return to Bluff on November 30, weather permitting.


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