Conservation team reboots Little penguin survey

It all started over winter, when some of the Pohatu Penguins team sat down with the realisation that tourism was going to be low this coming year.

"We started to think about environmental actions that we could be taking over the coming months," says owner Shireen Helps, who has cared for the penguins for over thirty years. "We really wanted to extend our conservation work. The first idea that popped in our minds was to reproduce the first Little penguin survey of the whole of Banks Peninsula."

The Horomaka Korora survey project was originally led by the Department of Conservation in the years 2000 and 2001, but hadn't been revisited since. 

"Twenty years on, with many conservation projects that have been happening and even more due to the announcement of Pest Free Banks Peninsula, we were very keen on working on a database line of penguin population health around the peninsula."

And so the massive project started, a project lead by Pohatu Penguins and supported by many organisations, businesses, NGOs and volunteers.


  • To conduct a complete transect ground survey of white-flippered penguins on Banks Peninsula
  • Areas previously searched in 2000 and known breeding areas, of which 16 are accessible by land and 174 are accessible only by boat, will be searched by teams of volunteers
  • All data collected will be entered into the penguins survey webpage.
    A paper will be written at a later stage
  • Report written for Ecan to help with Coastal management plan.

"We’re super excited about this project and look forward to the results!" 

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