Local Little Penguins – Big International News!

Local Little Penguins – Big International News!

It seems the Southern Right Whales are not the only occupants making a splash off the Warrnambool coast this winter!

The Middle Island Little Penguin colony and the story of the Maremma Project have made international headlines over the last few weeks.

A great opportunity for engaging the public across the Tasman sea came after the New Zealand Herald published a story on the Maremma Project and Little Penguin Monitoring Program, following an interview with key project contributors including Kristie King from the Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Group (WCLG). The story can be viewed on the NZ Herald Website, or see the pdf version Little Penguins all but doomed – Environment – NZ Herald News – 2nd June 2013.

Where the chain reaction all started! – the NZ Herald

The web-based coverage seemed to create a ‘chain-reaction’, with a number of North and Central American web-based environment and conservation sites picking up the story over the following days. The story that was first posted on an American site resulted in the NGT website receiving over 700 hits in one day! See this story on the Livescience website, or view the pdf version Sheepdogs Save Australia’s Endangered Penguins_Endangered Species _ LiveScience – 3rd June 2013.

The spread of the word has resulted in some interesting opportunities for the Little Penguin colony’s story to be told, including monitoring data collected soon to be used to make a primary school maths lesson for students across the United States. It also reflects the dedication by the huge number of people involved in keeping up the momentum of the Maremma Project and Little Penguin Monitoring Program – so well done!

The busy season is again soon upon us, with Little Penguins due to arrive back at Middle Island in the coming months. For any readers that are keen to take part as a volunteer in the Little Penguin Monitoring Program at Middle Island for the coming season between September to March, and are not yet part of the WCLG email list, please send through an email to .


Lauren Kivisalu