Saturday, August 31, 2013

Image of the Day

Macaroni Penguin returning to colony from feeding at sea, Hercules Bay, South Georgia Island

Magellanic Penguins in Peninsula Valdes, Argentina


Magallanic Penguin in Peninsula Valdes Patagonia Argentina

Also known as Magellanic Penguin, Child bird, Booby Bird, Donkey bird, Patagonic Penguin or Common Penguin. They visit Peninsula Valdes in their thousands, and allow us to observe them very, very closely. Penguins are perfectly adapted to marine aquatic life at low temperatures.

The Penguins’ beak in Peninsula Valdes
A product of evolution, their spindle-shaped body allows better displacement of water, resulting in high hydrodynamic corporeal form.The Penguins’ beak is vertically flattened, very strong, long and curved at its end, together making it an excellent tool to capture their food. Like other birds its beak is adapted inside to regurgitate transported food for their young. On the bird’s palate, there are “rugae (wrinkles) palatal” which channel prey down the oesophagus and prevents it from escaping.

Penguins’ wings are short, very flat and strong.

  Penguins’ wings are short, very flat and strong. They are flightless, but their movement in the water is really a flight rather than swimming.The bird’s sternum is also very powerful, and is a shield to withstand the shock of diving into the water from considerable heights. In water, the wings act as propellers, driving the Penguin at speeds up to 28 miles per hour.

They are flightless, but their movement in the water is really a flight rather than swimming

 They are extremely acrobatic underwater, which is necessary for them to catch their prey and also to allow them to escape predators. This agility comes about by using their feet as rudders.

Penguins are extremely acrobatic underwater


In late January and February, groups of young born the previous season, spend nearly two weeks on land where moult their pens for first time. These non-breeding birds tend to group together under bushes to escape the heat of the Sun.

All penguins moult once a year and during that time remain on land, without feeding.
Penguins spend much of their time preening and maintaining their plumage, which is very important to maintain the waterproof quality of the plumage.

 males Penguin and Females in Peninsula Valdes Patagonia Argentina


Males are slightly larger than females and have longer and wider beaks. The male weighs about 4 to 5 kg and is 45 cm tall. They reach sexual maturity at 4 or 5 years for both sexes. Each year in late August, early September males start arriving, then females.

Males Pnguin renovate nests used in previous years in Patagonia

 Males renovate nests used in previous years. They nest up to about 800 meters from the coast, but natural accidents can make their walk from the sea more than one kilometre. Females usually lay two eggs in early October and after 40 days of incubation (shared with the male) the chicks are born.

The chicks are born covered with dark gray down

 Both sexes defend the nest and feed the young with fish such as anchovies and squid. The chicks are born covered with dark gray down, which is lost in February when moving into juvenile plumage. At this time the chicks become independent making their first forays into the sea in search of food. The following year they’ll acquire adult plumage after another moult.

Their relationship with the man

While they do not fear the presence of man, they are not 100% sociable. They tend to run behind people who walk between nests, and if someone gets too close or try to touch them, don’t have any doubt that will receive a painful peck.

Although Penguins are lucky enough for not to possess anything useful to Man, they are adversely affected by Man’s actions, due to over fishing and water pollution, especially with the spillages of oil offshore. Once oiled, penguin’s feathers lose their insulating capacity, so they lose warmth and seek refuge on the beaches, where they die by poisoning caused by ingesting oil whilst attempting to clean their plumage and starvation.

It is therefore very important to generate awareness and for strict legislation regarding transportation and extraction of oil.


Watch Audubon Aquarium Penguin Chick Sassafras Hatch from Egg

Friday, August 30, 2013

3 endangered African penguin chicks hatched at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

 Credit: Courtesy Audubon Aquarium 

Credit: Courtesy Audubon Aquarium 
 Credit: Courtesy Audubon Aquarium 
 Credit: Courtesy Audubon Aquarium 

 Credit: Courtesy Audubon Aquarium

NEW ORLEANS -- Three endangered African Blackfooted penguin chick were hatched at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

Six total -- a record -- have been hatched at the aquarium in 2013.

“With their numbers decreasing by as much as 90 percent in the past century, the hatching of multiple African penguin chicks is especially significant and makes me incredibly proud of the program’s accomplishments,” says Darwin Ling, senior viculturist.

“This has been a record-breaking year due to our improved incubation parameters and fine-tuned hand-rearing process and I'm very optimistic to have more chicks hatch at the Aquarium before the end of the year.”

The chicks are known as Peewee, a male; Fuzzy, a female; and Sassafras, a male. Peewee and Fuzzy are brother and sister, according to the aquarium.


Baby Humboldt Penguin born at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo (Images)

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has announced that a new baby Humboldt Penguin was recently born on site. A new campaign, ‘The Penguin Party’ will put the spotlight on the world of penguins, while celebrating the new arrival until September 21, 2013.

According to a press release issued by the zoo today, the penguin chick was born to Rami and Circo, who first made headlines parenting two penguin chicks at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in 2011.
  1. New baby Humboldt Penguin (right) was recently born at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
    New baby Humboldt Penguin (right) was recently born at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
  2. New baby Humboldt Penguin was recently born at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
    New baby Humboldt Penguin was recently born at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

The Humboldt Penguins, a warm-weather species found on rocky mainland shores and offshore islands of Chile and Peru, were then three years old. Two years later, they have extended their family with one more penguin chick, taking the total number of Humboldt Penguins to 17.

In May 2013, Circo laid the egg. Around forty days later the egg hatched, and the penguin chick was welcomed into the family. Now over 30 days old, having been fed on their mother’s milk, the penguin chick also has a very concerned and doting father, with Rami offering to feed little fish to him.
The new-born will continue returning to the nest for 80 days, before venturing out solo, much like his elder siblings.

Gordon White, General Manager of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, said: “The newest addition to our Humboldt Penguin community has been an absolute delight for everyone associated. There is nothing more rewarding than to have our different species expand their family here, a true reflection of how at home they feel in the Underwater Zoo. The parenting roles that Rami and Circo have adapted, their concern for their chick and the response of the rest of the community were endearing.”
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is hosting a competition for fans to name Rami and Circo’s new penguin chick, on their Facebook page.

Marking the new arrival, Underwater Zoo is hosting ‘The Penguin Party’ for which the Gentoo Penguin exhibit has been renovated to enhance the visitor experience. The campaign will include interactive presentations by aquatic and marine educators who will be on hand to guide visitors and provide them with an opportunity to better understand the world of penguins.


Image of the Day


Yellow Eyed Penguin aka Hoiho

Abandoned penguin called Webster demands a hug from her zookeeper every night or she refuses to sleep

  • Humboldt penguin at Yorkshire zoo that 'thinks she is a human'
  • Webster was raised by her keeper after being rejected at birth by parents
  • She became 'part of the family' and even answers to her own name
  • Now reintegrated, she still insists on a cuddle before going to sleep
By Stuart Woledge

A zookeeper literally has to p-p-p-ick up a penguin every night because she cannot sleep until she has had a cuddle.
Webster was separated from her natural parents when she was just three days old after they rejected her, and was instead taken under the wing of John Pickering and his family.

Having been nursed by Mr Pickering night and day for three months, the cute Humboldt penguin now thinks he is her surrogate father, and refuses to go to sleep until he has given her a loving hug.

Birds of a feather: Webster, an 11-year-old Humboldt penguin, will not go to sleep without her goodnight cuddle from her surrogate father, John Pickering
Birds of a feather: Webster, an 11-year-old Humboldt penguin, will not go to sleep without a goodnight cuddle from her surrogate father, John Pickering

Chin up: Webster went to live with Mr Pickering and his family when she was rejected by her parents in 2002
Chin up: Webster went to live with Mr Pickering and his family when she was rejected by her parents in 2002

Mr Pickering, who has worked at Sewerby Hall Zoo in East Yorkshire for 34 years, said: 'It’s possible she thinks she’s a human, since she grew up in our family home. She looks at me like a surrogate dad, so we have a really close bond.
'Every evening she likes to follow me round, watching me put all the other penguins to bed. It’s like she’s helping me.

'Then, when it comes to her bedtime, she won’t go to bed without a hug, so I have to put my arm around her and give her a little scratch on her head.'
Webster - named by Mr Pickering's two sons James and Thomas due to her webbed feet - had to be fed four times a day at regular intervals for the first three months of her life, starting at 6.30am and not finishing until midnight.

She was born in 2002 to parents Rosie and Dion, but was rejected by them because they already had another chick.
To ensure she survived, the Pickerings had to mimic the penguin's feeding technique to make sure Webster, now 11, ate properly.

Natural pose: Webster poses from the camera at Sewerbury Zoo in East Yorkshire
Natural pose: Webster poses from the camera at Sewerbury Zoo in East Yorkshire
Mr Pickering said: 'We started off with blended up fish, salt water and a vitamin supplement in a syringe.
'It takes two people to feed (a penguin) so it’s quite difficult. I had to pick up my wife from work and we’d both go back at lunchtime and feed her - it was a lot of running around.

'After about a month she could eat small fish, so it was a lot easier. My sons, who at that time were about 17 and 15, named her Webster because of her webbed feet.
'They didn’t know she was a girl at the time because you can’t tell until they’re a bit older. Females have a flatter head and males are more rounded.

'She was really part of the family. At the time we had a Norfolk terrier who Webster got on well with. She answers to her own name when you call her.'
While the family of four enjoyed having Webster living with them at their home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, they knew that she would have to be reintegrated with the other penguins in the longer term.

Mr Pickering said: 'She was fine with the other penguins. Obviously there is a pecking order and they assume rank but she’s never had any problems.'
And while she has been successfully integrated with the rest of the flock, she insists on 'helping' John at work, following him on his rounds every evening to put the other birds to bed.

When it comes to her turn she cannot sleep without a goodnight hug from her ‘dad’, so he bends down to give the 18ins bird a cuddle.

Attached: Despite being reintegrated with the other penguins, Webster still insists on following her surrogate father about
Attached: Despite being reintegrated with the other penguins, Webster still insists on following her surrogate father abou.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Image of the Day

IMGP0429 by 24-keiko
IMGP0429, a photo by 24-keiko on Flickr.

Humboldt penguin taking a look around

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Penguins set up home already

Timaru's resident little blue penguins are nesting, giving hope their numbers will increase significantly in the coming months.

The penguins have returned to the rocks alongside Marine Pde to lay their eggs for the new season.
Department of Conservation community relations ranger George Iles said he was unsure how many penguins there were now, or how many eggs had been laid.

However, if the chicks survived, the local population had the potential to double annually, he said.
Timaru's first formal count of the breed was held in December last year, when up to 50 were spotted living under the rocks.

After reading about the little blue penguins in the Herald, Timaru resident Stuart Croft decided to build nesting boxes with the help of Bluestone School pupils.

Those pupils built eight boxes and were keen to continue that project, Mr Iles said.

The Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club had also agreed to work with DOC. A grassed area of the club's grounds had been identified as perfect for the penguins. It would be planted out with native trees in the near future. Once landscaping was completed, the penguin boxes would be relocated to the area.

"The penguins can then nest safely in their compounds," Mr Iles said.
That project would happen in spring, in preparation for the next breeding season.
"You can put the boxes within two metres of each other so we should be able to get in quite a few."


Victor mayor to visit Phillip Island penguins

In a bid to step up his campaign to raise awareness of the plight of Granite Island's Little Penguins, Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp will visit Phillip Island from October 16 to 19.
Phillip Island Nature Park in Victoria has been operating for 20 years and has now reached the stage of being self-funding.

The tourism model of the park is based on Little Penguins and how they have been able to fund numerous research projects including Little Penguins and Australia and New Zealand Fur Seals.

"In order to progress the Granite Island penguin agenda I would like to accept an invitation by the CEO of Phillip Island Nature Parks Matthew Jackson to find out more about their penguin program and how they have managed to achieve sustainability," Mr Philp said.

The cost of the visit is about $800.
At the Monday August 26, City of Victor Harbor council meeting councillor Bob Marshall said a scientific study is urgently required.
"Our penguins are disappearing and we need a study to find out why and to fix the problem," Cr Marshall said.

Councillor David Hall said it is valid expenditure of council money for the mayor to go to Phillip Island.
"The mayor is the figurehead of this council and needs to go," Cr Hall said.
Last year the Granite Island Little Penguin census found only 26 penguins on the island.

The 2013 census has been delayed until October due to the late breeding cycle of the penguins.
"Without research and a strategy to preserve and increase the penguin population base on Granite Island there is an extreme risk of the penguins becoming extinct on the island," Mr Philp said.

"Extinction of the penguins on Granite Island would present a high risk to the future viability of the penguin centre and other commercial activities on the island and impact on the horsetram service and tourism in the region."


Images of the Day

Falklands by richard.mcmanus.
Falklands, a photo by richard.mcmanus. on Flickr.
Rockhopper penguin on Bleaker Island

Rockhopper Penguin

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wayward penguin reaches Australian shores

Yahoo!7 August 27, 2013
Wayward penguin reaches Australian shores
A wayward penguin has been put back on course following an extraordinary adventure from New Zealand to Australian shores.

The penguin, dubbed Columbus, lost its way after leaving New Zealand's Fiordland Coast.

More than two thousand kilometres later, the little pair of not so Happy Feet washed ashore at Wilson's Promontory.

Wildlife experts say it is very rare for a New Zealand native penguin to show up on Australian shores.

"They're not all that common, we probably get one a year at the most," wildlife carer Rosie Fennell said.

The severely malnourished penguin was discovered by wildlife rangers after waddling into shore almost three weeks ago.

Weighing less than half its healthy size, carers say the little animal was too underweight to make it home.

It was taken to Phillip Island Nature Parks Rehabilitation Centre where it was nursed back to health before being released into the water this morning.

"Being underweight it was just a matter of feeding them up and getting their condition back so they could be released again," carer Josie Bellett added. "Hopefully now he'll find his way back to New Zealand."


Penguin gets sight back

editorial image
A 19 year-old Humboldt penguin from Colchester Zoo has had her sight saved after being treated at the Animal Health Trust (AHT).

The penguin, Wellamy, was referred to the AHT after her keepers noticed that her sight was deteriorating. Claudia Hartley, Head of Ophthalmology at the AHT, took a small team of AHT vets out to the zoo to assess Wellamy’s eye sight.

Wellamy was diagnosed with severe cataracts in both eyes. Surgery was the only option for this poor penguin in order to restore her vision, so that she could continue to live happily at Colchester Zoo with her colony.

Claudia Hartley said: “Upon examining Wellamy we found that she had cataracts in both eyes which meant her vision was extremely impaired, especially under water. She also had severe inflammation called uveitis due to the cataracts which was causing her discomfort. It was in her best interest that we operate as quickly as possible to relieve the pain and restore her sight.”


Penguins on rise despite dog attacks

Hokitika brothers Luke Garside, 11, and Adam Garside, 9
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS: Hokitika brothers Luke Garside, 11, and Adam Garside, 9, spot penguin tracks during the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust’s annual census.

Nesting blue penguins seem to be winning the battle against the erosion that is damaging many West Coast beaches.

Early results from the annual West Coast Blue Penguin Trust's five-day census, which finished yesterday, indicated rising numbers of the world's smallest penguin were coming ashore to breed.
Trust co-ordinator Inger Perkins said results looked promising this year, with many areas showing increased numbers of penguins compared with last year.

That was despite the extra challenges they faced, thanks to the sea washing away some of their beachside habitat and forming impenetrable steep sandy cliffs on many beaches.

She said volunteers had been scouring the region's beaches to count penguin footsteps in a bid to work out how many birds crossed the sand to reach their nests.

Trust volunteer Ian James, who did penguin counts at the West Coast's largest penguin colonies around Okarito, said beaches in that area were mostly building up, rather than eroding, thanks to the vast supply of gravels from nearby glacial-fed rivers.

"However, we do get steep banks that can hinder penguin access temporarily, but the birds seem to move elsewhere up or down the beach. They cope as they have done for the millennia."

Trust ranger Reuben Lane said the blue penguins' breeding was well under way by now, with birds coming ashore to mate and lay eggs in burrows around the West Coast.

Penguin couples shared incubating duties, typically one sitting on the nest while its partner fed at sea, before swapping after several days under the cover of dawn and dusk, hence their footprints on the beaches.

However, preliminary census results also had some sobering news about one of the penguins' arch enemies.

"While many areas are indicating an increase in penguin numbers, only one set of prints was found in the Cape Foulwind colony, which was the site of the massacre of 15 penguins by a dog or dogs last June," Perkins said.

She said a penguin startled a Hokitika resident early one morning by wandering down Revell St near the beach.

"Goodness knows where it's nesting, but I hope it makes it. There are so many loose dogs."
The trust had completed a blue penguin census annually for the past five years and used the information to assist their survival.

While blue penguins nested on many beaches around New Zealand, their population on the West Coast was estimated to number only in the high hundreds.


Monterey Bay penguin chick growing up in a hurry

Monday, Aug. 26, 2013
Newborn peguin
Photo courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium
Newborn peguin 
KTVU and Wires
MONTEREY, Calif. — 

An African black-footed penguin that was born at the Monterey Bay Aquarium earlier this month is healthy and growing fast, an aquarium official said.

The penguin chick, which weighed just 2.3 ounces when it was born in an incubator on Aug. 15, has grown to 8.5 ounces and is on display in the aquarium's penguin habitat called the "Splash Zone."
"We're very excited to welcome our fourth-ever penguin chick," associate curator of aviculture Aimee Greenbaum said in s statement. "It's fun to have a youngster around again."

The baby penguin, whose sex has not been determined, will remain on display in the Splash Zone with its foster parents, Walvis and Boulders, for around three weeks.

Once the chick starts leaving the nest, the penguin family will be moved behind the scenes for safety reasons, Greenbaum said.

The chick will eventually be named and is likely to return to the Splash Zone in about three months.
Anyone who wants to keep up with the baby penguin's progress can do so at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Facebook page,


Penguin experts fly to Bristol

Penguins seldom come to Britain, it is said, because they are afraid of Wales.
Group of penguins

But penguin experts and enthusiasts from around the world will head to Bristol for the 8th International Penguin Conference on 2-6 September, the first ever to be held in Europe.
The event will be co-hosted by the University of Bristol and Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Delegates will be welcomed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and get a chance to sample papers on everything from “monitoring global penguin population change” to “the power of poo."
They can learn the answer to the question “Are both sexes sexy?” (in King penguins, where both sexes are similar in size and appearance). And they will hear about new conservation techniques and improved husbandry methods designed to protect the five “endangered” and six “vulnerable” species of penguin.

The public will get a chance to spend a “penguin day” at the zoo and attend a free event looking at “Penguins on Film”. This will include footage which catches “criminal penguins” red-handed – Adelie penguins stealing stones from their neighbours’ nests to protect their eggs – and demonstrates that even Emperor penguins can (more or less) fly.

“There’s so much work going on to help protect them, and all the delegates are very keen to share their passion for penguins,” says conference chair Pete Barham, professor of physics at Bristol.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Image of the Day

Humboldt penguin

Internationally Renowned Penguin Expert on "Talking Animals"


Talking Animals Aug 28 2013

My guest on "Talking Animals August 28 will be Dr. Dee Boersma, the Wadsworth Endowed Chair in Conservation Science in the University of Washington's department of Biology, who has been referred to as the “Jane Goodall of Penguins.”

Boersma, whose long string of awards and honors include serving as a Fulbright Fellow, has directed since 1982 the Magellanic Penguin Project at Punta Tombo, Argentina, in her role as a scientific fellow for the Wildlife Conservation Society. (The Penguin Project is now called The Penguin Sentinels

Not coincidentally, of paramount interest to Boersma is the importance of long term studies on penguins: She’s been working with Galapagos penguins for 40 years.

In fact, she just returned from her most recent sojourn to the Galapagos on August 15, and will come to the “Talking Animals” conversation armed with new information gleaned from that trip.

Dr. Dee Boersma will speak with us live on "Talking Animals" on August 28 at 9am ET, and listeners are invited to participate in the conversation by calling 813-239-9663 or e-mailing


Friday, August 23, 2013

Image of the Day

New Article Detaisl SeaWorld Orlando's Penguins

Taking the Kids: Reaching out and touching a penguin at Sea World Orlando

Lunch will be served anytime now — fresh fish — and no one has to cook it.

The adults are busy catching up while the kids swim and play, but this isn't any waterfront playground on a late summer day. This is a unique playground for penguins — "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins" — the largest expansion ever at SeaWorld Orlando (

Welcome to the home of 250 penguins from four different species:


Penguin chick hatches at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Aug. 22, 2013   |  
An endangered African blackfooted penguin chick (Spheniscus demersus) is helped out of its shell during hatching at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
An endangered African blackfooted penguin chick (Spheniscus demersus) is helped out of its shell during hatching at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. / Provided/Monterey Bay Aquarium, photo by Randy Wil

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has announced the recent hatching of an African blackfooted penguin chick. The chick is now being cared for by its foster parents on exhibit in the “Splash Zone” family gallery.

The young chick, whose gender is unknown, hatched the morning of Aug. 15 in an incubator behind the scenes. During an exam today, the chick weighed 8.5 ounces (245 grams), more than three times the 2.3 ounces (67 grams) it weighed after hatching – a great sign that it’s eating well, according to an aquarium release.

The chick is doing very well, said Aimee Greenebaum, associate curator of aviculture. “We’re very excited to welcome our fourth-ever penguin chick,” she said. “It’s fun to have a youngster around again.”

But Greenebaum cautions that despite excellent parental and veterinary care, blackfooted penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality.

This is the fourth chick hatched in the penguin colony at the aquarium. Of three birds that hatched in January 2011, two males, Pebble and Tola, survived and are both doing well at Dallas World Aquarium.

Greenebaum said experienced foster parents Walvis and Boulders are raising the chick – they also raised the aquarium’s third chick (Tola) successfully – because genetic parents Bee and Geyser are inexperienced at parenting.

The chick will remain with Walvis and Boulders for about three weeks or until it starts leaving its nest. At that time, the family will be moved behind the scenes for the chick’s safety; it can’t be left on exhibit because it could accidentally drown or be injured by adult penguins in the exhibit. It will eventually receive a name, and the chick (and parents) will rejoin the colony on exhibit about three months later. After one to two years, the chick may stay in Splash Zone or move to another zoo or aquarium, the release said.

All of the birds are part of a Species Survival Plan for threatened African blackfooted penguins. The plan, managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, identified penguins Bee and Geyser as genetically important to the captive population of this species in the United States, and the aquarium received permission to allow that pair to breed.

Visitors can keep up with the chick’s progress on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest.


In the UK? Must see "Penguins on Film"

Penguins on Film

Bristol Zoo Logo
BCS Logo
A free public event in association with the 8th International Penguin Conference, which is running from 2 to 6 September 2013 at the University of Bristol.

A world leading panel of experts will discuss their experiences working with penguins; it will include Elizabeth White, one of the Directors of ‘The Frozen Planet’, who did much of the filming for the Frozen Planet series. There will be a screening and discussion of BBC Natural History Unit footage on 'Criminal penguins' (stone-stealing Adelie penguins whose behaviour was observed and film during 4 months spent in the colony) and 'Penguins can fly' (super slow motion filming of Emperors returning to the floe edge).

Wednesday 4 September at 6 pm
Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road
  Free, all welcome, but booking is required via the online form.
If you require additional support for any of the lectures, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact Nicola Fry at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your request.

Penguins on ice Penguin with chick Penguin in Arizona

It is hoped that 'penguin-cams' used in the BBC series 'The Spy in the Huddle' will be roaming the venue and filming the audience and books written by the panel members and other delegates at the International Penguin Conference will be on display in the Reception Room.
The panel will include:
  • Chair: Lloyd Davis (Stuart Professor of Science Communication, Director, The Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago, New Zealand) Lloyd is an internationally recognized scientist. Currently the inaugural Stuart Professor of Science Communication at the University of Otago, he has authored over 100 scientific publications on the behaviour and ecology of birds and mammals. He is regarded as a world authority on penguins and academic honours bestowed upon him have included a Fulbright Fellowship, an Anzac Fellowship and a Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award. However, he is also an award-winning writer, photographer and filmmaker. His book Penguin: a season in the life of the Adelie penguin, which is a story of penguins and Antarctica as seen through the eyes of a penguin, won the PEN Best First Book Award for Non-fiction in 1994. The Plight of the Penguin won the NZ Post New Zealand Children's Book of the Year Award in 2002 - the first time in the history of the awards that non-fiction had been awarded the overall prize.

  • Elizabeth White (one of the Directors of 'The Frozen Planet') Elizabeth White is a Producer/Director at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. She began her career as a zoologist, graduating with a PhD in animal behaviour from the University of Bristol in 2003. Shortly after, she joined a research cruise with the British Antarctic Survey in South Georgia, and had her first experience of Antarctica’s penguins! From 2007 she was one of the directors on the award-winning Frozen Planet series, spending many months in the poles, North and South, filming wildlife on and under the sea ice. One of her shoots, took her to the Antarctic Peninsula where the team filmed the fledging behaviour of Adelies. In filming the series, the Frozen Planet team filmed a variety of different penguin species and Elizabeth will talk about some of the different techniques used to capture their behaviour.

  • Sue Murray (General Manager, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, New Zealand) The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is a conservation organisation highly respected by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Conservation for its work in the preservation of the rare and endangered Yellow-eyed penguin. The Trust has protected Yellow-eyed penguin habitats along the Otago and Southland coastlines, by providing fencing to protect the nests from wandering stock, planting trees and shrubs, and purchasing other areas for penguin reserves. The Plant Nursery, first established in 1989, has propagated more than 80,000 native trees and shrubs sourced from local seed. These have been planted out in the appropriate habitat to provide more shelter and better nesting sites for the penguins. The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust looks forward to the day when we and other penguin conservationists have made ourselves redundant.

  • Phil Trathan (BAS, UK) A geographer from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) he has pioneered new methods of locating penguin colonies in the Antarctic and of counting penguins remotely using satellite and aerial photographic images. In particular he has found ways to increase the resolution of the satellite imagery, to differentiate between birds, ice, shadow and penguin poo or guano.

  • Peter Barham (Professor of Physics and the Chair of the International Penguin Conference) and Tilo Burghardt (Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol) Both Peter and Tilo have developed systems that are capable of locating penguins in still and moving images and once located identify them from their individual patterns.