Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) are found throughout Southern Australia and New Zealand with a majority of them calling the Bass Strait home making the North West Coast an important breeding and habitat ground for these little birds. Whilst they are most active on land during the warmer months (September – March) they are present in varying numbers throughout the year.
There are many things we can all do to help keep our little Penguins safe and keep them returning to our shores;
- Keep below the high tide line to ensure we don’t disturb any nesting sites. Penguin burrows are usually more obvious and easily avoided but many other shorebirds make smaller, less conspicuous nests above the tide line.
- Obey all signage, especially ‘No dog’ signage. Just like a stop sign on the road, failing to follow the directions of a posted sign can result in large fines. It’s important to realise that even though your dog may be well behaved and on a leash, it’s presence and smell can deter birds from returning to their nests to feed their young. Please see below for the link of dog walking beaches in the Wynyard area. For example the entire Doctors Rocks Conservation Area from Seabrook Creek to Woody Point/Treatment Works at Somerset is DOG FREE….assistance dogs are an exception.
- Keep our beaches clean. Plastic pollution, balloons, cigarette butts are all common pollutants removed from local beaches. All of these have a negative impact on local animals who might eat or get caught in this rubbish.
- Be a responsible cat owner. Cats cause a lot of carnage to native bird and small mammal populations. Cats are best kept indoors – healthier for both the cat and their owner and definitely better for local wildlife.
- If you do find a sick or injured Penguin, like any native animal, please call Bonorong Wildlife Rescue Service for advice. They have a network of carers all over the state, including a dedicated Penguin and Shorebird Rehabilitation Carer in Burnie. Their number is 0447 264 625.
And remember if you would like to view Little Penguins it is best to go on an organised tour, contact either the Wynyard or Burnie Information Centres for times.
Together we can all ensure these little feathered friends continue to visit our shores for many years to come!