Wednesday 11th March, 2015
Penguin rehabilitators in the south are crying out for more fish.
Penguin Place is a wildlife venture that includes a penguin hospital on Otago Peninsula. They have a week of fish left before they run out of feed for their convalescing birds.
Emma Curtin, one of Penguin Place's rehabilitators, says their usual suppliers have run out of the type of fish they need - salmon smolt or silverside, from 15 to 20cm long.
The penguins need to add extra kilos to carry them through their moult which will start over the next month. They eat about a kilo of fish each per day.
The south has also received an unprecedented number of penguins attacked by barracouta. It's not known why the aggressive fish is attacking the birds, but it is causing some severe injuries, including lacerations to the penguins' feet and lower abdomen.
Nearly 50 penguins have been brought into rehab centres suffering from barracouta bites.
The Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust has started an appeal to help with vet fees and nutrient tablets among other things.
Account details for donations to the appeal are:
Account: SBS Bank
Account name: Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust
Account number 031355-0549558-00
Wednesday 4th March, 2015
It gives me great pleasure to present the Annual Report of the Trust’s activities for the year 2014-2015. This year has been particularly challenging and frustrating, but also has presented opportunities that may come to fruition over the rest of 2015.
Thursday 12th February, 2015
Penguins injured in barracouta attacks off the Catlins coast are being returned to the sea after being nursed back to health.
Three of the endangered yellow-eyed penguins, including a breeding pair, were released into the wild at Purakaunui Bay yesterday.
The birds have spent the last few weeks at Penguin Place, in Dunedin, recovering from injuries inflicted by barracouta.
Department of Conservation (Doc) ranger Mel Young said high numbers of barracouta off the Catlins coast were taking a bite out of the area's endangered resident yellow-eyed penguin population, but Doc's interventions were keeping the birds alive.
Seventeen injured penguins had been taken to Penguin Place so far this year, including 13 from the Catlins, which was many more than usual. Three or four injured birds would be more typical.
This year four birds had died while in care for their injuries, including one that died while undergoing surgery.
''There's just a lot of barracouta out there,'' Ms Young said.
Three weeks ago, one of the adult females released yesterday was found ''bleeding profusely'' on the rocks at Purakaunui Bay.
The bird would have died had it not been taken to St Kilda Veterinary Centre in Dunedin, Ms Young said.
The adult breeding pair released yesterday was found only days later injured and listless with two emaciated chicks at a beach further north.
Both birds had successful surgery performed by Dr Lisa Argilla from Wellington Zoo in their rehabilitation.
The pair's two chicks remain at Penguin Place.