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FEATURED PROJECT: Protecting NSW’s Last Little Penguins

Blog Post - Protecting NSW’s last Little Penguins

"Hi, I’m Melanie Tyas. I’m the Ranger for the Sydney Harbour National Park. One of my jobs is looking after Manly’s Little Penguin colony. It’s an incredibly important task, as this is an endangered population. They’re the very last breeding colony of Little Penguins on the New South Wales mainland.

Since 1999, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has assisted the conservation of the Manly Little Penguins. I’ve been working with them a long time and I’m so proud that we’ve made a real impact to help the penguins.

FNPW has supported efforts to monitor the penguins, including burrow checks and micro-chipping. This allows us to compare how the colony is going each year, and respond appropriately. FNPW has also funded new nestboxes and installation. The nest boxes have a proven, higher than average breeding success rate.

FNPW supports the Penguin Wardens through providing equipment and all weather jackets. The wardens are volunteers that watch over the colony each night during the breeding season. They ensure dogs, humans and other threats don’t encroach on the vulnerable nesting sites, and frighten the penguins into abandoning their chicks and eggs. Thanks to the wardens, the penguins’ breeding success is improved.

2015 was an awful year for the Manly penguins. A fox got into the colony and killed 27 Little Penguins. I was absolutely devastated.

I was incredibly grateful that FNPW jumped into action. They ran a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $20,000 to help.

As well as running round the clock watches by volunteers and fox control efforts, we used the funds raised in an attempt to fox proof the colony from further attacks. We bought 20 motion sensing cameras to monitor the area, a thermal camera to detect heat given off by predators, 5 high powered fox lights to scare away foxes, and 10 nesting boxes to help the penguins rebuild their numbers.

I encourage you to donate to FNPW to support Manly’s Little Penguins today."

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