Competition Win For Yellow-Eyed Penguins
Thursday 25th June, 2015
Endangered Stewart Island yellow-eyed penguins will benefit from tourism operators Real Journeys Cruise-for-a-Cause.
As the winners, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust will organise ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’ involving a Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise on August 29th, 2015. The 70 donated berths will be sold through the Trust’s networks to raise funds in support of the yellow-eyed penguin monitoring on Stewart Island. The Trust has worked in this area since 1999 and found, over that period, penguin numbers have significantly decreased. For example, on neighbouring Codfish Island/Whenua Hou, a predator-free island, numbers of breeding pairs have decreased from 61 nests in 2001 to an estimated 36 in 2014.
This trip is the final preparation for Real Journeys staff training before the tourism season begins. Previously berths were for invited guests, but this year Real Journeys offered this unique fundraising scheme to charities to make a bigger difference for the chosen charity.
“Conservation is a big part of who we are and the work the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust intends doing on Stewart Island could make a huge difference to the future of these birds. It’s perfect for our first Cruise-for-a-Cause,” says Richard Lauder, Real Journeys Chief Executive.
The Trust has previously received support from Real Journeys through transport to and from Stewart Island. The Trust’s General Manager Sue Murray said “this win elevates the level of support the penguins will receive this year. This work was dependent on external funding which Cruise-for-a- Cause will supply”.
This new opportunity comes at an ideal time for the Trust, since having worked on the Island since 1999 it is now considered a core site for our conservation effort.