Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

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Keep your distance from little blue penguins

1 min read
little blue penguins

Korora/little blue penguins come ashore between November and March to shed their feathers and grow a new waterproof coat, says DOC. Photo: Adobe Stock


DOC is urging beachgoers to keep a safe distance from korora/little blue penguins when they come ashore to moult.

Korora come ashore between November and March to shed their feathers and grow a new waterproof coat, says DOC, and are vulnerable to predation from dogs during their moult.

Bruce McKinlay, technical advisor ecology at DOC, said beachgoers not to worry if they see scruffy penguins but to keep themselves and their dogs away from them.

“DOC often gets calls about sick-looking penguins at this time of year, but they’re almost always moulting,” said McKinlay.

“While it doesn’t look pretty, this is a natural part of the bird’s life cycle, and they grow a new waterproof coat within two weeks.

“The best thing to do is leave them be, and ensure they are undisturbed during their moult.”

While korora are the most common sight for moulting, other species, such as crested penguins/tawaki and adelie penguins may also be spotted coming ashore in some areas.

Kiwis can help to keep penguins safe by leashing their dog around penguin areas, keeping dogs away from nests, and warning others nearby of the location.

If you see unleashed dogs in penguin areas, please contact your local dog warden. Or, if you see people harassing penguins, call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or your local DOC office.

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