Human disturbance

Hoiho are very susceptible to human disturbance

The degree to which human disturbance is an issue tends to be site specific, some penguin breeding sites have no public access and others have a constant stream of visitors.

There are various types of disturbance, from extreme direct impacts (e.g. a dirt bike squashing a penguin nest) to the more common indirect impacts (e.g. noise and visual disturbance from people at breeding sites). Seemingly harmless acts such as standing on the beach, can actually prevent a penguin from accessing the nest and feeding its chicks.

A number of studies examining the impacts of tourism (particularly unregulated tourism) on hoiho show that disturbance increases stress, and reduces breeding success, fledgling weight and the probability of survival.

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