Taking Penguin Protection Into Their Own Hands

The Penguin Post has learned that in New Zealand in the small coastal town of Breaker Bay residents are taking no chances when it comes to their nesting penguins and have started a community of dog walkers to cut the risk of dogs attacking penguins.  Residents here have started a dog walking group and have nearly 30 members which is just about all the residents with dogs.

Dogs are also not allowed on the coastal walkway from Tarakena Bay to Moa Point as it is a penguin nesting area, and dogs are a threat to penguin populations.

The dog walkers group in the area are now self-managing the problem of over enthusiastic dogs around penguins and say they do not need help from outside groups such as Forest and Bird.

Local Forest and Bird Wellington branch committee member Ken New said the Places for Penguins program operates around the south coast to protect penguins from their two principal threats to Wellington area penguins, dogs and cars,” he said.

Wellington City councillor and Breaker Bay resident Ray Ahipene-Mercer takes Wiki, a stuffed female penguin, into schools to teach children about penguins.

Wellington City councelor and Breaker Bay resident Ray Ahipene-Mercer takes Wiki, a stuffed female penguin, into schools to teach children about penguins.

Wellington City councelor and Breaker Bay resident Ray Ahipene-Mercer said education was the most important tool for keeping the penguins safe. “In the last 20 years we’ve seen a great change from antipathy to protection. We have to maintain the momentum with the education and think about further creative ways of getting the message across,” he said. Ahipene-Mercer speaks to schools in the area about penguins and their nesting habits.

One of the most effective changes in the community was the installation of penguin crossing signs in 1990, he said. The signs were replaced this year after the originals had deteriorated in Breaker Bay’s wild weather. Nests built by local penguins constantly full and the population of the penguins had increased in recent years, Ahipene-Mercer said.

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One Response to “Taking Penguin Protection Into Their Own Hands”

  1. Bernie Says:

    It’s great new that people are taking penguin protection into there own hands, love the idea of dog walkers protecting the penguins and the signs for cars are great, even better is to educate children the importance of penguin nesting grounds, so this protection can carry on through the generations. Sounds like a great place to be a penguin, I take my hat off to the population of Kia Tupato. Thank you so much for helping penguins xxx 🐧🐧🐧

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