Tuesday 15th July, 2014
Today the Minister of Conservation, Hon Dr Nick Smith, launched "Sharing Worlds - Seabirds and Fishing", a collaborative project with Southern Seabird Solutions and our Trust. The Minister also announced funding for our conservation work to the value of $200k over the next two years, from the Community Conservation Partnership Fund. Thanks DOC for this crucial support of our Yellow-eyed Penguin work.
Friday 2nd May, 2014
Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust field manager Dave McFarlane (left) and Sinclair Wetlands Trust co-ordinator Glen Riley, and volunteers, dig in plants at the wetlands on the Taieri yesterday.
The penguin trust donated about 200 plants from its nursery to help revegetate a grassy area at the start of the wetlands' walkway and around the first pond.
The planting day was a chance for both trusts to collaborate and learn from each other.
Mr Riley said he had a great experience helping the trust with its nest count during summer and wanted to return the favour.
Mr McFarlane said Dunedin conservation agencies could further progress their conservation goals by helping each other and sharing skills.
''It's been an excellent day.''
Tuesday 1st April, 2014
Some difficult strategic decisions will need to be made by the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust this year as it reaches a turning point in penguin conservation.
The trust, which is in its 28th year, has traditionally focused its work on increasing penguin numbers by protecting them and their habitats on land.
However, it was becoming increasingly apparent that what happened to the penguins at sea needed to be better understood, trust general manager Sue Murray said.
''It's a big turning point in penguin conservation.''
This had been reinforced by mass mortality in 2013 and starvation problems this summer.
Combined, the two events had resulted in nest numbers halving at the trust's Otago Peninsula colonies - Okia Reserve dropped from 13 to 5 and Otapahi ffrom 19 to 5.
Added to that, the trust had posted a financial loss of $33,000 for the 18-month period from October 2012.
Like every non-profit organisation, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust was struggling for funds, although it had strong support from many sectors thanks to having a charismatic bird people loved, she said.
''The challenge is we've expanded so much that we have a constant requirement for resources.''
The issue was highlighted by trust chairman Eric Shelton in his report to this week's annual meeting.
''This coming financial year will be challenging and will require making some difficult strategic decisions involving the allocation of resources,'' Mr Shelton said.
Mrs Murray said while the past nearly three decades' work meant those involved in penguin conservation had a good understanding of the penguins' biology, breeding and habitat, much was not known about the marine environment where they sourced their food.
Finding out why so few returned to Otago's shores after fledging was just one question which needed answering, she said.
Getting a better understanding of that environment required costly research and monitoring. How that fitted in with the trust's core work needed to be considered.
''They are so much more difficult to resource.''
This year, the trust would be considering how to advance ''in-house'' science to help guide its work in the future.
''Maybe we need to fund research.''
The trust had also commissioned Wildland Consulting to review its work on Stewart Island and help guide its future work there, given resource limitations.
• For the first time, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust has its full complement of 15 trustees. At this week's annual meeting, Murray Brass and David Smith were elected to the board for the first time, while Lala Frazer and Mike Morrison were re-elected.
They joined the trustees co-opted last year, Nigel Stirling, Jesse James and Luke Gardener, and existing members chairman Eric Shelton, Margaret Munell, Euan Kennedy, Linda Reynolds, Pat Mark, Peter Simkins, Hoani Langsbury and Tim Mepham.