Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yellow-Eyed Penquin Colony, Dunedin, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

Yellow-eyed penguins are endangered. Several years ago, a farmer on the south island of New Zealand, discovered a colony of yellow-eyed penguins on his land. He and his family took it upon themselves to open up the colony to viewing by the public, as a way to raise money to help preserve it. The site is called Penguin Place.

One of the major problems yellow-eyed penguins have is finding appropriate nesting places. Most of the land along the beaches had been deforested. As part of the attempt to preserve this colony, the family has replanted a lot of the native brush.

To view the penguins without disturbing them, there are ‘tunnels’ (ditches with arched covers) that the tourists walk through. Of course we needed to be very quiet. At times we were within just a few feet of the birds. Most of the penguins we saw were juveniles as the adults were out at sea, feeding all day.

We stayed long enough into the afternoon to see some of the adult penguins return from the sea. We learned a lot about them and enjoyed our visit. It felt good knowing that by visiting this colony we were contributing to the survival of this yellow-eyed penguin colony.

links:
Penquin Place
Yellow Eyed Penquin Trust