Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Little Penguins Are Back

Curb your dog: little penguins return to Manly

THE little penguins are back at Manly Wharf and Federation Point - six weeks ahead of schedule - and Manly’s penguin wardens are warning people to keep their dogs on their leash near both locations.
Penguin warden Angelika Treichler said there is currently one breeding pair at each spot. “Luckily they’re the more timid ones,” she said. “They don’t sit outside a lot and don’t attract attention but they still have to make their way to and from their burrow and that’s when they’re most at risk.

“We’ve already found some owners letting their dogs run free, so we’re asking people to be vigilant.”
The early arrival of the little penguins followed the release on Wednesday of the Manly Little Penguin Project’s monitoring report for last season that showed the colony had overcome the killing of 10 by dogs and foxes early last season.

It’s believed the penguins that lost mates early last season were able to find new ones in time to breed, lifting the number of fledglings to 118 on 96 active nests.

The breeding season for the little penguins nominally begins on July 1 and runs until the following February.
Ms Treichler said she had never seen the little penguins arrive so early and said it could be the warm water, the presence of more bait fish in the harbour or the climate.

More penguin wardens are required. Anyone interested can call her on 9976 2176.