Friday, October 24, 2014

Penguin supporters get their spring coats

Supporters to educate viewers ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY

Last updated  25/10/2014

Penguin wardens
HI-VIS VESTS: Little blue penguin support group members in their new vests, which they wear when responding to questions from penguin viewers on the beach. Greg Adams and his mother Alwyn (right) and Margaret McPherson (centre).

Fluorescent vests sewn by penguin fans are designed to help keep the creatures safe on Timaru's coastline.

Little blue penguin support group member Margaret McPherson designed the bright green vests for members to wear while on rostered duty on the beach at dusk. "It's so people know who to talk to or ask questions," McPherson said.

The $160 cost of material for the 21 vests was sponsored by a group member's business and McPherson got help with sewing from friends and fellow group member Alwyn Adams.

Made to fit all shapes and sizes, the vests have a reflective strip along the back and a pocket in the front to hold information pamphlets which, when printed, the members will distribute to penguin viewers.

Group member Greg Adams said visitors to the district were really impressed that viewing the penguins was free and he hoped they could keep it that way.

Educating the public helped to "stop idiots" disturbing the penguins, he said.

It was also a way of sharing information. Recently a group member was made aware of where some chicks were, thanks to an eagle-eyed member of the public.

Eggs are laid between August and December.


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