Friday, May 23, 2014

Rare New Zealand penguin returned to the ocean

Published: Friday May 23, 2014 Source: ONE News
  • Fiordland crested penguin (Source: J Green and G Leayr)
    Fiordland crested penguin - Source: J Green and G Leayr
After eight months in care, a rare species of New Zealand penguin has been returned to the sea where it was discovered on the far south coast of New South Wales. The yellow-crested, black-and-white Fiordland crested penguins grow to about 60cm in length and weigh just a few kilos as adults and are threatened with extinction.'

The male penguin was found lying amongst the rocks at Tura Beach, NSW, last September where it had washed up thoroughly exhausted and suffering from a large injury on its left leg. The bird was taken into specialist care by Janine Green, a Sea Bird co-ordinator for WIRES, who spent the following eight months consulting with experts and government agencies to ensure it received the best care available.

'Bro' as he was affectionately known, received fluids and antibiotics during the first three weeks of recovery and along with vitamins and other nutrients, he gained weight and built up strength. The injury on his left leg healed to the point that the penguin was waterproof enough to enjoy a shallow swimming pool.

Bro is only one of five Fiordland Crested Penguins to ever come into care in NSW and was eventually introduced to a large salt water swimming pool where he began catching his own fish and showed all the signs of being able to reach a full recovery.

Little is known about their breeding habits as they generally nest in thick vegetation in temperate rainforest in southern New Zealand. Before release, Bro was microchipped and may be able to provide scientists with unique insights into the species behaviour.

Bro was released near Ben Boyd National Park where he was able to join a current that will take him out to the ocean, and hopefully, to his home territory in New Zealand.


No comments: