Big protections for our little penguins

North Head’s Little Penguin colony is under close surveillance and a number of security measures have been put in place to protect them as the colony’s breeding season officially begins this week, Environment Minister Mark Speakman said today.

Little penquin chick (Eudyptula minor)

Volunteer Little Penguin Wardens and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are working around the clock to keep a close eye on the penguin colony, which is the last on the NSW mainland, to ensure the breeding season runs smoothly.

“In the lead up to the Little Penguin breeding season NPWS has been monitoring known burrows and wardens will regularly patrol nesting sites to ensure no-one interferes with the penguins,” Minister Speakman said.

“A network of monitoring cameras has also been set up to keep track of the animals’ movements and to alert NPWS rangers and field officers to the presence of any predators such as foxes and domestic dogs that could pose a threat to the colony.”

Other measures undertaken to protect the colony include:

  • Use of fox detection dogs
  • Installation of fox deterrent lighting
  • Laying of baits, traps, and pest ejectors
  • Increased signage around North Head to alert and educate visitors and locals about the colony.

Mr Speakman said for the first time Bushlink volunteers would be regularly removing rubbish such as discarded fishing line from Collins Flat in an effort to minimise the risks to the penguins.

Heavy fines applied for dog owners who take animals into critical habitat areas and the national park.

Little Penguins are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, and the colony of Little Penguins and their habitat at North Head is protected as an endangered population under the Threatened Species Conservations Act 1995.