The Yellow-eyed
Penguin Trust

News & Events

About Us

Why was the Trust formed?

In the 1980s, research on the Otago Peninsula showed that the yellow-eyed penguin population had declined drastically due to severe predation and loss of habitat, and the yellow-eyed penguin was now considered to be an endangered species. This unique penguin is found only along the eastern coast of the South Island, as far north as Banks Peninsula and as far south as Stewart Island and beyond to the subantarctic Auckland and Campbell Islands.

So it was in 1987 that Dunedin conservationists formed the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust with the aim of saving the penguin by restoring coastal forest and controlling predators.

Where is the Trust based?

The Trust Office is based in Dunedin but manages land and penguin interests in the whole of mainland New Zealand. The Plant Nursery is based at Company Bay, Otago Peninsula.

What is our brand statement?

“Committed to creating natural environments where threatened yellow-eyed penguins can thrive.”

What does our brand mean?


  • Committment to protecting endangered yellow-eyed penguins

  • People are crucial to creating natural environments where yellow-eyed penguins can thrive

  • To inspire people to plant our coastlines and learn about rare and endangered yellow-eyed penguins

  • Passionate about saving yellow-eyed penguins and the environment in which they live

Who are we?

The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is a conservation organisation highly respected by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Conservation for its work in the preservation of the rare and endangered yellow-eyed penguin.

Current key tasks include:

  • Revegetation
  • Predator trapping
  • Public awareness
  • Education

What have we achieved?

In its first 22 years the Trust protected yellow-eyed penguin habitats along the Otago and Southland coastlines, by providing fencing to protect the nests from wandering stock, planting trees and shrubs, and purchasing other areas for penguin reserves.

The Plant Nursery, first established in 1989, has propagated more than 80,000 native trees and shrubs sourced from local seed. These have been planted out in the appropriate habitat to provide more shelter and better nesting sites for the penguins.

Where are we going from here?

The Trust’s first 22 years have seen the penguin population increase – through a joint effort between the Trust, Department of Conservation, private landowners, scientists and individuals – yet the population is still a long way from being self-sustaining. The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust looks forward to the day when we and other penguin conservationists have made ourselves redundant.


  • Mike Morrison (Chairperson)
  • Adrian Christie (Treasurer)
  • Lala Frazer
  • Euan Kennedy
  • Ruth Littlewood
  • Pat Mark
  • Peter Simkins
  • Margaret Murrell
  • Eric Shelton
  • Hoani Langsbury
  • Linda Reynolds

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  • Sue Murray, General Manager
  • David McFarlane, Field Manager
  • Leith Thomson, Ranger
  • Anita Pillai, Nursery Manager
  • Toby Bulow, Nursery Assistant
  • Jenny Winter, Office Administrator
  • Stewart Island Field Assistants are employed each year to monitor the yeps, approx October to March[singlepic id=604 w=320 h=240 float=]

The Original Trustees were:

John Darby, Lyn Dowsett, Paul Every , Lala Frazer, Warren Hurley, Christine Johnston and Moira Parker.

Trust Patron

2006 – current: Anton Oliver[singlepic id=602 w=210 h=160 float=]

1988 – 2006: Lady Beverley Reeves

Trust Ambassador

2011 – current: Kieran Read[singlepic id=603 w=210 h=160 float=]


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