The Great Big Little Penguin Count

The Seabirds to Seascapes program has undertaken the first comprehensive estimate of little penguin populations along the NSW coast.

Undertaken in 2023, the first ever Great Big Little Penguin Count will provide scientists from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water a baseline from which to measure any changes to the population, assess future trends and help protect this iconic seabird.

Understanding how the little penguin population is faring along NSW coasts also gives us a valuable tool to gauge the health of our marine environment.

In 2023, surveys were conducted on Broughton Island (Port Stephens), Tollgate and Snapper islands (Batemans Bay), Barunguba-Montague Island (off Narooma), and Bowen Island (Jervis Bay). Bowen Island is part of Booderee National Park, a Commonwealth reserve which is owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community.

Future surveys will be expanded to include additional islands, enhancing our understanding of the species' status across various breeding sites in New South Wales.

Many thanks to the trained volunteers, Parks Australia and Eurobodalla Council staff who assisted with this year’s Great Big Little Penguin Count.

To learn more about The Great Big Little Penguin Count, visit the Seabirds to Seascapes webpage.

Seabirds to Seascapes, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, is supported by project partners the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.