Tuesday, 14 July, 2009 - 15:09
Cruise Company Going Extra Mile To Save Penguins
Local Cruise company staff are putting themselves in deep water to help save dwindling numbers of the white flippered penguin in Canterbury.
The white flippered penguin is the close cousin of the more abundant Little Blue Penguin, and over the last 20 years approximately 70 percent of the local Canterbury population of white flippered penguins has been lost, Black Cat Cruises Managing Director Paul Bingham said.
“This is mainly due to predators including cats, rats, stoats and ferrets and Black Cat has been working on trapping these predators around the entrance to Akaroa Harbour for the last six months,” he said.
Setting traps where the penguins nest has proved challenging as they nest in very inaccessible places.
“It has meant staff have had to swim from a boat dragging the traps and bait as they are not accessible by land. Already we have succeeded in catching some rats and stoats and will continue this project to create a safer habitat for the penguins,” Bingham said.
Black Cat Cruises has been operating for 23 years and is a former winner of the Supreme tourism award and is the largest tourism operator on Banks Peninsula.